Memorial Day 2015

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Bob DeYeso served with the 26th Yankee Division 328th Infantry during World War II. He was just 19 years old when he faced his first combat experience and described himself as a frightened kid. His immediate superior was Julian Violon, who could see the fear on DeYeso’s face as the two stood ready with their weapons to move forward. “Stick with me, kid,” Violon told DeYeso, and then the pair took off.

“Thirty seconds later, he died,” DeYeso told the crowd at the 2015 Memorial Day ceremony at Canton Corner Cemetery on Monday.

DeYeso, who served as grand marshal of the ceremony, has a photo of Violon’s gravesite and says a prayer for his buddy every day. He also spoke of the need to remember all those who served the United States through the military.

“We have a moral obligation to make sure they are not forgotten,” he said.

The crowds that gathered along Washington Street and in the cemetery were noticeably larger than those of the past few years. They listened to Canton Veterans Agent Tony Andreotti speak of patriotism in his welcoming remarks.

“Patriotism is about more than just flying the flag,” he said. He urged those present to make patriotism a way of life by helping the homeless and volunteering at the food pantry.

Edward J. Beatty American Legion Post 24 Commander Ed Walker laid a wreath at the Legion flagpole and read the names of Canton residents who served in conflicts from the Civil War to the present day and never returned. A gun salute and the playing of Taps followed the roll call. The Reverend Philip Jacobs of Trinity Episcopal Church gave the invocation, asking that others imitate the faithfulness that service members have to their duty.

“Canton is a wonderful reflection of what is best about America,” remarked Congressman Stephen Lynch, who spoke of Canton’s long history of military service that continues with the appointments of young people to the military academies. He added that Andreotti aids all veterans and their families with the services they need and called him the best veterans agent in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“We’re here to honor the veterans,” state Representative William Galvin said, noting that they served a cause bigger than themselves. Canton Selectman John Connolly spoke of the ways in which veterans accept the words of thanks that come their way when they return to the U.S. He said that all veterans share the same sentiment when it comes to gratitude.

“Gratitude truly belongs not to them, but to their fallen brothers and sisters,” he said.

Galvin Middle School eighth graders in Elaine McCarthy’s class read poems, shared reflections, and thanked the veterans for their service. They included Jacob Desjardins, Theresa O’Brien, Haley Donovan, Shaleeya Owens, Hannah McLear, Baylah Mazonson, and Trisha McDonald. Walker and Andreotti also introduced the 2015 Boys State recipients: Jack Cudmore, Ben Berkowitz, Michael Larsen, and Mark Clancy.

The ceremony concluded with Tom Jenkins reciting the Gettysburg Address from memory for the 16th year in a row.

See this week’s Canton Citizen for more Memorial Day photos by Michelle Stark. Click here to order your subscription today.

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