Veterans and non-veterans alike marked Memorial Day with ceremonies and BBQs, in town commons, backyards and bars.
Parades were scheduled all over: Westfield, Holyoke, Ashfield, Great Barrington, East Hartford, Windsor and more.
In Amherst, Phil Osborne opted for a stool at the American Legion, working his way through a draft and a smoke.
“I come up here quite often,” Osborne says. “Not as much as I used to, as I put on too much weight, drank to much beer.”
Osborne says he served almost 27 years – 11 in the Navy and the rest in the Air Force. And on Memorial Day, he thinks about his lost friends – those whose names are on the wall at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, and others.
“A lot of guys died from the wounds they suffered after,” he says. “Years after.”
He lives in Amherst and does not always feel the town’s residents are as supportive of vets as those in some smaller towns.
That said, there was a Memorial Day ceremony in Amherst. Osborne – this year – did not attend.