A Memorial Day ceremony will take place near the entrance to the Hull Village Cemetery by the flagpole on Monday, May 31, but without some of the pomp and circumstance.
The 10 a.m. ceremony will be live, but there will be no parade or band due to pandemic-related restrictions, Director of Veterans’ Services Paul Sordillo told The Hull Times. “The event will feature a bugler and honor guards as usual,” he added.
The 14 streets in the Hull Village Cemetery that are named in honor of Hull residents who were killed in action during wartime will be dedicated during the ceremony.
Ten roads in town are named after Hull veterans killed in action, but up until about a year ago, there were 14 veterans who had not had a street named after them.
That’s when resident Deborah Neal came up with the idea of naming some of the cemetery streets after the remaining veterans, marked by wooden posts bearing information about each one.
The Select Board granted approval to name some of the several streets in the cemetery in this way, and Neal worked with Director of Public Works Chris Gardner to accomplish that goal.
The DPW made and installed the markers, which include the veterans’ names, branches of service, rank, and the conflicts during which they died.
Flower pots were cut to fit the wooden posts, which were installed last year. Gardner had asked the Hull Garden Club to plant flowers in them for Memorial Day.
Due to the pandemic, the dedication of the streets was postponed until this year.
“It’s important to honor our veterans, who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “It’s the least we can do to name some of the streets in the cemetery after them.”
Naming some of the cemetery streets in this way has also proved to be helpful when giving directions to people who are trying to find the graves of loved ones.
Anne Musmeci, a founding member of the Garden Club who organizes the group’s Adopt-a-Garden program for town properties, was pleased to have an opportunity to plant flowers at the cemetery.
“The DPW filled the pots with dirt, so all the hard work was already done, and 14 club members purchased flowers on their own for the containers and will take care of them from the day they were planted until Sept. 15, the end of the season,” she explained.
The DPW crew cares for the grounds and maintains the cemetery, where more than 7,000 people are buried.
A resident donated one red geranium for each container. The rest of the flowers were purchased “from whatever looked beautiful” at the club’s recent plant sale, according to Musmeci. The scheduled planting date was May 18. At least a couple of club members planned to follow a red, white, and blue theme.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Hull Garden Club to honor our veterans,” she said.
More than 1,200 men and women from Hull served in different conflicts. Of those, 24 were killed in action. The cemetery street markers represent three Civil War veterans, four from World War I, three from World War II, and four from the Vietnam War. No Hull residents were killed in action in Korea.
Garden Club President Susan Short Green said it warms her heart “to see these beautiful roadway markers that have such meaning. It makes me happy to see people in our community come together to do good.”