WOODSTOCK — The Bryant Pond Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War hosted a Memorial Day ceremony Monday afternoon in the Grange hall.

With dozens of residents filling the chairs and lining the walls of the hall, the ceremony began with a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Mahoosuc Music Makers.

Resident Jane Wardwell read Gen. John A. Logan’s 1868 order making Memorial Day an official holiday.

Throughout the afternoon, the Mahoosuc Music Makers performed a variety of patriotic songs, including the armed forces medley and “God Bless America.”

Resident Sally Sawyer announced that the Daughters of Union Veterans had a “nontraditional program” to present. Kayla Jones, Ashley Jones, Tiffany Woodhouse and Marybeth Hoover sang “We Are America.” They are members of the female singing group Bloom from the Bryant Pond Baptist Church.

Sawyer also introduced fourth-grade students Cheyenne Palmer and Briar Heward, who were selected to read essays they wrote about what Memorial Day means to them.

Palmer told residents that more than 1,000 people lose their life every year as a result of fighting for their country.

“I can think of so many families who have suffered losses because their loved ones were fighting for our freedom,” Palmer said. “I lost my great uncle in the war, and I never got to meet him. I’ve heard great stories about him, and I wish I could’ve met him.”

Heward told residents that Memorial Day was “more than a 24-hour break from school.

“To me, it’s about remembering the soldiers who died protecting our freedoms,” Heward said. His favorite freedom is “the freedom of speech,” he said.

Following the indoor ceremony, a large group of veterans and residents marched down Main Street to Lakeside Cemetery.

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