Memorial Day Ceremony


Arlington National Cemetery, located in Washington, DC, covers roughly 639 acres and is the final resting place for well over 400,000 retired service members, those killed in combat, slaves, and presidents. Andrew and Robin Giaconia, who are both retired United States Air Force veterans of 20 and 21 years, respectively, have been to Arlington National Cemetery multiple times when they were stationed in the D.C. area. “It was a surreal experience actually walking through and reading the names of so many laid to rest throughout the cemetery. We [Andrew and I] had many opportunities watching burial ceremonies, the gathering of family and service members, the presentation of the flag, and the 21 gun salute,” said Robin Giaconia. “They gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country to provide the freedoms we have today.”

Rory Klauber, News Editor

When some people think of Memorial Day, they think of getting a day off from work or school and being able to relax in the warm sun at the beginning of summer. It’s usually the day where swimming pools are opened for the summer months and beaches are flooded with interstate traffic. With the change in weather paired with life getting somewhat back to normal from the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget what this day off actually represents. It is important to take a step back and realize why this national holiday exists because it is important to our history as Americans.


In Hollis every year, the town puts on a Memorial Day ceremony with the help of many different groups and organizations. One of the groups helping with this ceremony every year is the Hollis Boy Scouts Troop 12. “The scouts form part of the marching unit; we provide a color guard and we accompany the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) contingent and other veterans to Monument Square. As part of the ceremony, we lay memorial wreaths on World War I, World War II, and Korea/Vietnam Memorials in Memorial Park. We also perform a retirement of the colors on the main town flagpole near the end of the ceremony,” said Scoutmaster George Robinson, retired United States Marine Corps of 22 years of service. “Other veterans who are active in Troop 12 include Mark Tigert [United States Navy], Matt Rogers [Air Force], and Bob Fallier [Marine Corps].”


“Our fallen military members helped to defend us and preserve our Republic. We enjoy our way of life today in part due to their sacrifices. These men and women gave up everything they were and everything they ever hoped to be for us. The least we can do is gratefully remember,” added Robinson.


Trevor Duval, who is a Social Studies teacher at Hollis Brookline High School, pointed out that joining the armed forces is more than a single sacrifice but rather combined sacrifices. “It is not just them[service men and women] making the sacrifice, you are asking your entire family, friends, and maybe even your own children to bear that burden. We really owe them our indefinite gratitude and thank you for what they were willing to do for their country and family,” outlined Duval.


“For those who lost a family member, seeing all these people come together to remember what their loved one was willing to do, it sometimes helps in their healing process and remembrance,” said Duval.


On May 31, Monument Square will be host to this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony in the town of Hollis. “The Hollis Memorial Day ceremony is always well attended, but it would be wonderful to see more residents participate. For those who cannot attend, it is appropriate to pause during this weekend that is usually focused on good times with family and friends, to respectfully and thankfully reflect upon why we have this day off from school and work,” said Robinson.


When Memorial Day rolls around, take a few minutes to think about those who came before you that have given their lives so that you can live your life in peace and safety.