Nashua residents pay respect to those who served

NASHUA – Thousands of local residents came together Monday to honor their loved ones, some alive, some since passed, who have dedicated their lives to service.

Nashua’s Memorial Day Parade showcased first responders, city officials, middle and high school bands, Nashua North Air Force JROTC cadets, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and countless others. The parade formed early Monday morning at Holman Stadium and moved quickly to Amherst Street, down Main Street, up Lake Street and concluded at Elm Street Middle School, where parade participants received refreshments.

Parade-goers lined the streets, adorned in red, white and blue, while waving small American flags.

Nashua resident Megan Holmes was one of many parade-goers who stood on the edge of Main Street’s sidewalks. Holmes has been coming to the parade for 12 years now. For her, it’s become not only a way to honor her multiple relatives who have fought in war, but it also has become a family tradition.

“It’s important to appreciate what they sacrificed,” Holmes said.

Nashua resident Shelley Cummings and her daughter Felicia have also made this day a tradition. Shelley said they have been coming to Nashua’s Memorial Day Parade since Felicia, who is now in her mid-twenties, a was little girl.

Shelley’s father was a World War 2 Navy Veteran who served on the USS Oklahoma City cruiser. Shelley said she attends the Memorial Day Parades to pay respect to everybody who has served.

“They’re the reason we’re here today, they’re the reason for our freedom,” Shelley said.

This year her daughter Felicia brought her young son with them, and said it was very important for her son to be there as well as understand about paying their respect.

“It’s important for us to honor those who have served,” Felicia added.

Hudson resident Emily Lalmond was in attendance on Monday to support her sister, who is apart of Bishop Guertin’s Marching Band. This is the third year they have come to Nashua’s Memorial Day Parade.

And though she was there cheering her sister on, she couldn’t forget the reason why she was there in the first place.

“To me, this day is all about respect,” Lalmond said. “It’s one of those days where you take a step back and you really try to just respect everyone around you and be thankful for what you’ve been given through other people’s sacrifices.”

Lalmond was standing next to a veteran, her grandfather, longtime Nashua resident Alvin Rodgers, who has been coming to this parade for over 70 years.

Rodgers said, “I’m a veteran, so I’m happy the country is the way it is and I’m happy that we have the president that we have who is trying to do a good job.”