Wareham honors fallen soldiers

May 27, 2019

Along with the rest of the country this Monday, Wareham residents paid a tribute to the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Starting as early as 8 a.m. members of the Wareham Veterans Council, Wareham Militia, Wareham Police Department, American Legion Wareham Post 220 and the high school’s Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps participated in a series of solemn ceremonies at nine locations in town.

Chaplain Ervin “Tootsie” Russell of Dudley L. Brown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2846 opened each ceremony with an invocation prayer describing the bravery and courage displayed by those who have donned a service uniform.

“Our presence here is in solemn commemoration of all these men – and expression of our tribute to their devotion to duty, to their courage and patriotism,” said Russell. “By their services on land, on the sea and in the air they have made us their debtors – for the flag of our nation still flies over a land of free people.”

Each sequence featured an invocation, a three-volley salute, and 'Taps,' which was performed by Christopher Berg of the Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.

At each location, Robert Powilatis, President of the Friends of Wareham Veterans Council and Julio Roderick, a Wareham Veterans Council member, placed a  wreath before the monument as a symbol of remembrance. At Besse Park, the day’s fourth stop, a floating wreath was dropped into the water to honor those soldiers who lost their lives at sea.

“We are conducting ceremonies in different locations because we want to make sure that we get to each spot that has a significance for formal service members who passed away serving for our country,” said Col. Matt Stanton, of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

Besides Besse Park, the ceremonies were held at Center, St. Patrick’s and Agawam Cemeteries, Town Green, Dudley Brown Square, Onset Bluffs, Stone Bridge, and Town Hall.

“Because the ceremony is held at different parts of the town, community members have a place close to them where they can come and honor the fallen soldiers.”

At Agawam Cemetery, members of the Wareham Historical Society showed their appreciation by providing coffee, donuts, and water.