---- — NORTH ANDOVER — This year’s Memorial Day exercises will be especially poignant for North Andover residents because they are dedicated to Cpl. Sean Gallagher, who was one of 220 Marines killed when a terrorist drove a truck loaded with explosives into their barracks at Beirut International Airport on Oct. 23, 1983.
Twenty-one other members of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as 58 French Army paratroopers were also killed in the attack. The troops were stationed in Beirut as part of an effort aimed at ending the civil war in Lebanon.
Gallagher’s mother, Barbara Gallagher, will be the guest of honor at Monday’s observance. The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. at the Old Center Common and march along Massachusetts Avenue and Salem Street to Ridgewood Cemetery, where a ceremony honoring Gallagher and others who gave their lives in the service of the United States will take place
Col. Kenneth Lawson of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps will be the guest speaker. Lawson, formerly of North Andover, was a minister at the Bible Chapel of the North Shore in Beverly before being called to active duty in 2001.
Lawson received the Soldier’s Medal for diffusing a dangerous situation at Fort Devens that could have resulted in the death of a soldier and his wife several years ago. Lawson knew Gallagher when he was growing up in North Andover, according to members of the Patriotic Observance Committee.
The committee, chaired by Ted Tripp, met at Town Hall on Monday night to put the finishing touches on the Memorial Day program.
Also speaking at the ceremony will be Michael Manougian, a 2009 North Andover High School graduate who will soon graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army.
Ross McQuate, a North Andover High School junior who recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, will read a poem or essay with a patriotic theme. McQuate, whose father, Craig McQuate, served in the Marines, said he thinks it’s important for young people to “get involved” and honor those who gave or risked their lives for America.
The high school marching band will play “The Star-Spangled Banner” as well as other musical selections.
If it rains too hard for the parade to happen, the Memorial Day exercises will be moved to North Andover Middle School, where they will begin at 10:30 a.m., Tripp said. People should take time from their “busy lives” to “remember our fallen heroes,” he added.
Other Memorial Day ceremonies in the area are as follows:
The towns annual Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. The route leads from the intersection of Elm and Florence streets to Main Street, to Punchard Avenue, then Bartlet Street, before ending at the park. In the event of heavy rain, all observances will be held inside Memorial Auditorium.
A collation for all parade participants will follow at 11:30 a.m. at Doherty Middle School.
Any civic, patriotic or fraternal organizations wishing to march should contact the Veterans Services Office at 978-623-8218. As custom, no political activity will be accommodated within or during the parade.
Active duty service members, reservists, National Guard and military veterans are invited to march in the annual parade. The parade forms at Methuen American Legion Post 122, 200 Broadway and steps off at 10 a.m. and proceeds north on Broadway to Charles Street
Parade reforms and proceeds down Charles Street over Hampshire Street, left on Lowell Street, past Central Fire Station, left on Grove Street to American Legion monument for ceremony.
Parade reforms and returns down Grove Street, left on Lowell Street, Right on Barker past the Senior Activity Center, Right on Pelham Street, Left on Lowell Street passing the Central Fire Station, Right on Hampshire Street, right on Broadway and return to American Legion Post 122 to end parade.
The parade is followed with a ceremony at noon at by Arnold Greenwood Post 8349, Veterans of Foreign Wars at Veterans Lot at Elmwood Cemetery.
The Haverhill Police Relief Association will honor deceased members of the association at the police monument in front of the police station, 40 Bailey Blvd., at 9 a.m. Officers will begin their march at 8:45 a.m. at the Citizens Center on Welcome Street.
VFW Lorraine Post 29 Memorial Day parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. in front of the VFW, 64 Kenoza Ave., and will travel down Main Street to Summer Street and Linwood Cemetery for a memorial program. Invocation is by the Rev. Douglas Dawe, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Newton, N.H. The Sons of Italy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform the National Anthem. Master of ceremonies is John Kazarosian; principal speaker is Mayor James Fiorentini. Veterans Services Director Michael Ingham will also speak. Whittier Regional Class President Peter Comeau will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Haverhill High student Elizabeth Faircloth will deliver General Logan’s orders Whittier Regional Class Vice President Nick Elwell will recite the poem “Freedom is Not Free.” A firing squad is by AmVets Post 147.
The Veterans’ Services Department is having a rededication of the Joseph T. Gile Jr. square Saturday at 10 a.m. at the corner of Salem and South Union streets.
Giles, a Private First Class with the Marine Corps was killed in action during Vietnam in 1966. Jamie Melendez, Veterans’ Services director said the plaque on the square needed to be replaced.
Following the rededication, there will be a motorcade to Broadway and Concord Street for the dedication of the Philip V. Moore Square. The late Moore, served in World War II from 1942 to 1945 with the 1st Calvary Division of the Army. When he returned to Lawrence after the war, Moore was a short-order cook at Cedar Crest Restaurant and a messenger at City Hall.
The group will then travel to Salem and Everett streets for the dedication of the James A. Mulligan Square.
Mulligan, who is 87, was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. He flew over 80 missions when his A4 was shot down. He was a prisoner of war from 1966 until 1973 and became the first POW to be cleared for release from Clark Air Force Base. After his release, Mulligan served two more years before he retired for a combine 31 years of service.
John Katsaros, author of “Code Burgundy The Long Escape,” is guest speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at Bellevue Cemetery, 100 Reservoir St. In the book, Katsaros, of Haverhill, an Army Air Forces gunner, recalls his ordeal as a prisoner of war during World War II. His plane was severely damaged by German ground fire during a B-17 bombing mission, he parachuted onto French soil with severe injuries, and eventually escaped to England with help from the French underground.