HINSDALE, N.H. -- Sacrifice in the name of American freedom is not limited to any one state. That's why the residents of Hinsdale, both military veterans and lifelong civilians, came out Monday to commemorate Memorial Day.
Members of Hinsdale VFW Post 4234 conducted a series of cemetery tribute services, similar to those in Brattleboro, to honor their fallen comrades before anchoring a parade down Main Street. Scores of people lined the sidewalks to watch the parade's participants, which included the Girl Scouts, the town band and the Hinsdale Fire Department.
John Buraczynski, the Hinsdale Memorial Day chairman, thanked everyone for attending and paying their respects to soldiers who never made it home.
"God Bless America," he said before the parade began. The parade then took off from Depot Street and took a left turn onto Main Street, where participants waved to the crowd and many threw handfuls of candy for the younger spectators. The parade concluded outside the VFW post, where there was a ceremonial raising of the flag.
"I am so proud to see everyone here," Buraczynski said. "Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart."
Members of the VFW met at the post at 7:30 a.m. before forming a motorcade to visit the St. Joseph's, Oak Lawn, Hooker and Pine Grove cemeteries and the Veterans Memorial Bridge to recite a prayer, fire off a rifle salute and play "Taps." The prayer, read by Buraczynski in each location, asked God to "bless our country with freedom, peace and righteousness" and to watch over the widows and children of warriors struck down in battle.
Dick Whittemore, the Post 4234 commander until sometime in June, said the local post has conducted Memorial Day services since shortly after World War II, when the post was founded. He said Hinsdale has always been very supportive of its veterans. Walter Rodovich said he will take over as commander in June.
Buraczynski, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean war, said finding enough veterans for a Memorial Day service is getting more and more difficult because Hinsdale is such a small town and many World War II veterans have died.
"They were my heroes. That was an awful, terrible war," he said outside the VFW Post before the parade. "They can't be forgotten. They've done so much."
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.