West Springfield and Agawam will host Memorial Day events on several days over the next week to honor fallen service members. Both communities invite the public to participate in activities such as grave flagging, a parade, ceremonies and flag retrieval.

On the morning of Memorial Day, representatives of both towns will gather at 6:45 a.m. for the annual bridge ceremony on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. The ceremony itself begins at 7 a.m. on Front Street, on the West Springfield side of the bridge.

West Springfield

Commemorations in West Springfield begin Saturday, May 25, with the flagging of graves at St. Thomas Cemetery, 420 Kings Hwy. Volunteers are welcome to place flags on over 2,200 graves starting at 9 a.m.

Following the bridge ceremony on May 27, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Dawn Patrol will visit several cemeteries and memorials in West Springfield. The approximate schedule is 8 a.m., Riverdale Road Cemetery; 8:45 a.m., Pawcatuck Cemetery; 9:15 a.m., St. Thomas Cemetery and White Church; 9:30 a.m., North End Bridge; 9:45 a.m., Vietnam Memorial, Park Street and War Memorial.

The town’s main Memorial Day ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at Town Hall, 26 Central St. It begins promptly at 10 a.m., with retired Army Maj. Mustafa Thompson serving as the master of ceremonies.

The Massachusetts National Guard, West Springfield Police, and Fire Department honor guards will present the colors. Remarks will be delivered by Mayor William Reichelt, state Sen. John Velis and state Rep. Michael Finn.

“Honoring our fallen heroes helps remind us just how lucky we are to call America our home,” commented Reichelt. “Those men and women put their lives on the line to protect our beautiful country. Honoring them for that sacrifice is the least we could do for their patriotism.”

Velis, who will be the event’s keynote speaker, is a major in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and served multiple tours in Afghanistan.

“Memorial Day is the most sacred day of the year, in my opinion,” Velis said. “We are honoring all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, who died so we could all be here.”

The senator added, “It is an honor to join so many communities throughout the district who so thoughtfully put together Memorial Day observations to remember all those who did not return home.”

Velis chairs the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, and previously helmed the Joint Committee on Veteran and Federal Affairs. He was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2020 and was reelected in 2022.

Also on the program for the Memorial Day ceremony are performances by the West Springfield High School Band and Fausey School Chorus. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the town’s Facebook page and available on Channel 15 later in the afternoon.

For questions regarding the broadcast or access to the program, contact Jorge Santiago at jsantiago@tows.org or 413-263-3019, or Carly Camossi at ccamossi@tows.org or 413-495-1844.


Agawam will host two Memorial Day ceremonies on May 27, one sponsored by the town and one at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

The town’s Memorial Day Parade will step off from Town Hall, 36 Main St., at 10 a.m. After marching down Main Street, the Agawam Veterans Council will lead a brief ceremony at the Veterans Green, next to Phelps School at the corner of Main and School streets.

Memorial Day commemorations at the cemetery begin at 1 p.m. The state-owned cemetery is at 1390 Main St., Agawam.

On Wednesday, May 29, volunteers are invited to help remove flags from graves at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the state cemetery and how to volunteer, contact the Friends of the Agawam Veterans Cemetery at agawamfriends@gmail.com.