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UPDATED May 27: The Town of Arlington's Memorial Day ceremony were held Monday, May 27, at Town Hall, 730 Mass. Ave.

On the same day, the Mystic Valley Lodge welcomed the officers of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge for their annual honoring of those buried in the Prince Hall Mystic Arlington Cemetery at 52 Gardner St., East Arlington. Hall was a famed abolitionist, orator, educator and African-American leader who lived more than 200 years ago.

Town Hall events began with a community gathering of remembrance in the auditorium on the first floor after doors opened at 8:30 a.m. After the ceremony, guests headed to the nearby Old Burying Ground, next to First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant Street, for a decoration of memorial sites at 10 a.m. 

A procession to Mount Pleasant Cemetery followed. Volunteers earlier this month helped to place flags on the graves of veterans, joined by Veterans Services Director Col. Philip McGovern.

Alan Jones, presiding master of Mystic Valley Lodge A.F. & A.M., reported that those involved start the day at Prince Hall's grave at the Copp's Hill Burying Ground in the North End and then came to the Arlington cemetery between 11 and 11:30.

"It's a short but moving ceremony," Jones told YourArlington.

Read more about the Prince Hall Cemetery here >>

“On Memorial Day we remember those who have passed away, especially those who died serving the United States of America in armed conflict. It is a very solemn occasion," wrote McGovern in a recent email. "Every year the people of Arlington gather to remember them with sorrow for all they lost, gratitude for the lives they lived and [to] resolve to build on their legacy – a nation, as President Lincoln put it, ‘conceived in liberty,’ dedicated to equality, with ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

A full schedule of Memorial Day events can be read below:

Memorial Day schedule:

  • 9 to 9:45 a.m. – Community gathering of remembrance at the Robbins Memorial Town Hall Auditorium (Doors open at 8:30 a.m.);

  • 9:45 to 10 a.m. – All attending are to be invited to move across the Town Hall Garden to the Old Burying Ground adjacent to the Whittemore Robbins House;

  • 10 to 10:15 a.m. - Decoration of memorial sites at the Old Burying Ground;

  • 10:15 to 10:25 a.m. – All attending are to be invited to assemble in the driveway between the Library and the First Parish of Arlington and join in procession to Mount Pleasant Cemetery;

  • 10:30 to 10:50 a.m. – Procession steps off and moves down Massachusetts Avenue, up Medford Street, then in through the third gate of Mount Pleasant Cemetery; and

  • 10:50 to noon – Procession through and decoration of memorial sites at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 

This news announcement was published Tuesday, May 7, 2024, based on information from the Town of Arlington; updated May 8, with additional information; and updated for time/day references the evening of May 11. It was updated May  24 and25, to add Prince Hall information.