By John Anderson

With the closings of Mary D. Stone and Julia Bancroft schools looming, it seemed only appropriate to capture their final Memorial Day ceremonies yesterday. Although war is incomprehensible to most young students, the deep tradition of honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country was well played out at both schools.

The day began at 9:00am at Mary D. Stone where Principal Elizabeth Chase reminded her students, “This is one of the most important holidays.” She was joined by a group of veterans from Auburn’s Charles P. Tuttle Post 279 of the American Legion. Also present was Past Massachusetts Commander Thomas Shoemaker from Post 440 in Newton, Massachusetts.

Shoemaker has been coming to Auburn schools for over ten years and has been impressed with the way the District honors veterans on the Memorial Day holiday. He addressed the students and audience about the significance of Memorial Day and what it truly means.

The veterans drove over to Julia Bancroft for the start of their 10:00am program. Before they walked in, Principal Susan Lopez told the audience, “We are so proud and thankful for all they have done.”
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While both schools presented terrific musical numbers and readings, Shoemaker’s words had some impact on these young minds. He told the JB students that while this is a holiday weekend and it’s fine to enjoy the hotdogs and hamburgers, “The reason we can do that is because of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom.”

He told the audience, “It is up to you, the parents and grandparents, to pass the importance of Memorial Day on to these young people.” “Remember Memorial Day. Remember the men and women who sacrificed.”

Shoemaker added, “We also must remember the families who are at home while their loved ones serve their country. Often, they are the ones left alone.”

All in all, this was a very inspiring and appropriate morning.

A reminder that Monday’s Parade will step off at 10:00am from Bryn Mawr Ave, proceed down Auburn St. and up Central St. to Hillside Cemetery. The annual Duck Race will occur behind the library after the parade.