Parade And Ceremony Marks Belmont’s Memorial Day, 2022 [Photos]


The weather cooperated – brilliant sunshine, low humidity, upper 70s – as Belmont returned to he public celebration of Memorial Day.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the numbers along the route and at the commemoration were down from 2019 as the ceremony booted up for the first time in three years with the parade that started in Cushing Square and traveled to Belmont Cemetery adjacent the Grove Street playground led by a contingency of veterans and guests, girl and boy scouts, all serenaded by the Belmont High School marching band.

At the cemetery, the solemn tribute for the fallen who died in defense of the country commenced with Bob Upton, Belmont’s Veteran’s Service Agent who is retiring at the end of the week, who spoke of those who were honored on this holiday.

“Let’s appreciate our time together here in this beautiful place within this wonderful community of Belmont,” said Upton. “We are here today because of the sacrifices made by so many Belmont families. We are here because of the willingness of someone we love or maybe someone we many not even know who laid down their life for our freedom. We are here to honor them.”

Nor should the day be best known as the unofficial start of summer, suggested the chair of the Belmont Select Board.

“Memorial Day has become a day of picnics, barbecues, parades a day to spend time with family and friends as we look forward to their carefree days of summer,” said Mark Paolillo. “But it must remain a day to pause from our very busy lives to reflect, honor and thank those individuals that have given all to defend our freedoms. We must remember them.”

Speaking on his tenure as the vets rep in town, Upton spoke of some of his most personal rewarding efforts which may have flown under the radar such as creating a low-key coffee hour for veterans at the Beech Street Center, coordinating a trip for an aging WWII vet to Washington DC on an Honor Flight or negotiating what can seem to be an overwhelming amount of paperwork to allow vets survivors to receive the benefits they rightfully have earned.

“Some of my most proudest moments here in Belmont has been working with our veterans and their family members and the stories I heard at events and activities such as today,” said Upton.

Finally Upton read the names of Belmont’s fallen from the Civil War to the War on Terror, taps was played and the parade reassembled to the Veterans Memorial at Clay Pit Pond for a brief commemoration.

Belmont’s Memorial Day Parade/Observation: May 30 Starting At 11 AM From Cushing Sq.

Photo: Flowers at veterans’ graves at Belmont Cemetery on Memorial Day 2015.

The Memorial Day’s of pre-Covid restrictions and cancellations will return to Belmont on Monday, May 30.

For the first time since 2019, a parade from Cushing Square to the Belmont Cemetery will start the day at 11 a.m. with contingencies of veterans, town and state officials, the Belmont Police and Fire departments, the Belmont High School marching band, boy and girl scouts, and town employees in large trucks and equipment coming down Trapelo Road to Belmont Street before taking the left onto Grove Street.

All veterans and current military personnel are invited and welcome to join the other vets at the head of the parade.

The observance will take place at Belmont Cemetery adjacent to the Grove Street Playground at roughly 11:45 a.m. The parade will then proceed to the Belmont Veterans Memorial at Clay Pit Pond off of Concord Avenue for a short ceremony.

The parade and observation will be coordinated for the final time by Belmont’s retiring Veteran’s Services Agent Bob Upton.

COVID Casualty: Memorial Day Parade Cancelled Again

Photo: The 2018 Memorial Day parade

While the number of Belmont and state residents vaccinated is growing by the day – nearing one-in-five in the next weeks – the coronavirus continues to play havoc with a return to normalcy.

The latest example of that trend is the long-standing tradition of the Memorial Day parade and ceremony at Belmont Cemetery which has been cancelled for the second year running.

“Bob Upton [Belmont’s Veterans’ Service Officer] made a decision which we support to not have an in-person parade this year,” said Belmont Health Department Director Wesley Chin at the Health Commission’s meeting on Monday, March 29.

The annual event has the town’s veterans, military personnel, police and fire units, elected officials, the combined High School and Chenery Middle School bands, scouts and youth groups marching from Cushing Square to Belmont Cemetery where the town comes to honor those who gave their lives to the defense of the country.

Upton is beginning to plan “for some small in person ceremonies that will involve the Select Board and those associated with the veterans in town.” said Chin.

Pizzi Proud: Belmont Celebrates Marathon Champion’s Return Home

Photo: Becca Pizzi and her daughter, Taylor.

Becca Pizzi came home to Belmont on top of a fire truck fueled by a wave of communal love.

Pizzi, both the first American woman to finish and win the World Marathon Challenge – in which participants run a marathon (26.2 miles) on seven consecutive days in a different continuant each day – arrived back to her hometown on Thursday, Feb. 4, to be the centerpiece of a parade from Belmont High School to Belmont Center.

Lead by town officials and the BHS Marching Band, Pizzi rode on a siren-blaring Belmont Fire engine with her daughter, Taylor, her family and boyfriend, followed by hundreds of residents – and a small army of television crews – celebrating the marathon champion and her accomplishment, destroying the previous record while running an average three hours and fifty-five minutes per race and finishing third overall all in one week’s time while traveling 25,000 miles. 

“Just flying seven continents in seven days is extraordinary, and they stopped to run a little bit,” said Bob Mahoney, CEO and president of Belmont Savings Bank which sponsored the parade and reception. 

Noting that Pizzi had seven “red letter days” in winning each race during the Challenge, “it’s important that you are sharing your fabulous red letter day with 20,000 people in your hometown and we really appreciate that very much,” said Mahoney, adding that young children will be able to look at her accomplishment “and face challenges and now will honestly be able to say, ‘I can do it’.”

After receiving proclamations from the town, the Massachusetts House and Senate as well as from Gov. Charlie Baker, Pizzi – who was wearing the winning medals from each continent she raced – kept her remarks short and sweet. 

After thanking her daughter – the race had been the longest period they had been separated in their lives – family and friends, Pizzi the response from everyone before and during the races “makes me fortunate that I am a Belmontian, and I could never have done this without your support.”

Pizzi would then head inside the Belmont Savings Bank main branch to sign countless autographs, be interviewed by all of Boston’s television stations and bask in the spotlight reserved for local heroes. 

IMG_9054 IMG_9058 IMG_9059 IMG_9064 IMG_9069 IMG_9072 IMG_9075 IMG_9079 IMG_9083 IMG_9086 IMG_9089 IMG_9091 IMG_9092 IMG_9095 IMG_9098 IMG_9100 IMG_9104 IMG_9108 IMG_9115 IMG_9118 IMG_9130 IMG_9134 IMG_9136 IMG_9140 IMG_9144 IMG_9156 IMG_9157 IMG_9163 IMG_9166 IMG_9168 IMG_9179 IMG_9181 IMG_9183 IMG_9188 IMG_9191 IMG_9194 IMG_9198IMG_9212 IMG_9217 IMG_9229 IMG_9231 IMG_9238 IMG_9240 IMG_9242 IMG_9244 IMG_9245 IMG_9247 IMG_9250 IMG_9253 IMG_9257

Belmont’s Memorial Day Parade Kicks Off at 11 AM


It’s the one day of the year Belmont comes out for a parade.

Marching bands from Belmont High School, and the Chenery Middle School, color guards and members from the Belmont Police and Fire departments, Veteran motorcyclist, marchers from local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops and veterans will all take part in the 2015 edition of Belmont’s Memorial Day Parade and Public Ceremony beginning at 11 a.m., Monday, May 25, beginning on Trapelo Road adjacent to the municipal parking lot and Starbucks in Cushing Square.

All veterans and current military personnel are invited and welcome to join the other vets at the head of the parade.

Lining the route – up Trapelo Road before making a left at Grove Street and continuing to the Belmont Cemetery – will be families and residents cheering the marchers.

At the cemetery, a wreath laying ceremony will take place, speeches will be read, flowers laid at the graves of veterans, the names of Belmont citizens who died for this country will be honored, “Taps” played and a final salute will be given.