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Light Rain Falls on Norfolk Parade but Fails to Dampen Spirits


A member of the fire department played Taps on the village green this year.

The Memorial Day parade formed on Maple Avenue at 9 a.m., despite a spattering of rain. In the forefront were Norfolk’s veterans and active service members, followed by its fire fighters and their gleaming pumper truck, the ambulance corps with their vehicle and a number of youth groups and teams. The marchers proceeded around the village green in silence, stopping for a gun salute at the war memorial and the playing of Taps, before continuing north to Memorial Green across from the Catholic church.

Town Historian Richard Byrne read the names of Norfolk’s dead servicemen, each group of names punctuated by the tolling of the memorial bell.

Two F-15 jet fighters permed a flyover during the parade, one of them flown by Norfolk-raised Ma. Matthew Werner.

Air Force Major Marcy Werner was the featured speaker. A pilot and the veteran of many military campaigns, Maj. Werner announced the imminent flyover of two F-15s, one of them piloted by her husband, Norfolk-raised Major Matthew Werner. The two fighter jets buzzed the assembly shortly after 9:45 as scheduled, to a round of awed applause.

The ceremony ended with a soaring rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner by Georgia Johnston, a Norfolk native now living and studying music in Dublin, here for a family visit.

Photos by Savage Frieze (top) and Bruce Frisch.

One Response to “Light Rain Falls on Norfolk Parade but Fails to Dampen Spirits”
  1. Philip B Hale Jr says:

    It is with great pride that I remember and share my own experience with this parade. In the late 60’s My late brother Peter and I were the two Sousaphone players in Frank Shea’s Regional 7 marching band. Before Fiberglass Tubas arived. They weighed a ton by the end of the parade. I joined the Army in 1969 to stay one step ahead of the draft.. and 20 years later just before my retirement I found myself home on leave. Rick Kelly asked if I’d like to carry the American Flag at the head of the parade. I had my dress blues with me and was honored to trade the tuba for the flag, it was much lighter. We marched the usual route, and by the time we got back around the green I was looking forward to the beer at Town Hall. we got past the historical society and Rick told me we were taking a left in front of the library. He said there was one more monument since I had last marched. As they read the names I heard “Philip B. Hale Jr.” I almost dropped the flag…Rick told me later that it was a Vietnam ERA veterans memorial, which I was. Most of the vets on all the stones we honor now defend heaven. I am so proud to still be here and will always consider Norfolk my home..

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