WATERTOWN — The skies told the story of a somber Memorial Day morning, one unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. Leaden gray, forbidding and misting, the conditions lent themselves to the strong emotions surrounding the small crowd of spectators and the American heroes who make up the Watertown-Oakville Veterans’ Council at their annual service at the Old Burying Grounds on Main, Depot and French Streets on May 25.
“We know it’s a different time,” said Mickey Corcoran of the Veterans’ Council, “but we’ll always be here to remember those who gave us the freedom to be here today.”
After a 21-gun salute and a moment of silence, Pastor Joseph Chabot of the Litchfield Hills Church spoke in calming, reverent tones about those lost and those in harm’s way.
Pastor Chabot, a Watertown native, spoke truths about what Memorial Day really means, as the crowd, most of them wearing facemasks, listened in absolute silence.
“They willfully went into harm’s way,” said Pastor Chabot as the American flags planted in front of the gravestones flapped in the light breeze.
“We don’t know them all, but we owe them all,” he added. “May God let them rest in peace.”
After a few quiet moments, Art Atwood, Jr. and Tom Willis, at opposite ends of the grounds, played TAPS, with heads bowed in silence as those on the grounds reflected what Memorial Day really means.
Said Pastor Chabot afterwards, “It’s never easy to find the right words on this day, but I believe no words can really be right when it comes to how much we owe our men and women in uniform.”
Judging by the faces of those who took 20 minutes out of their day to salute the fallen, those words had unanimous support.