Annual Memorial Day Commemoration held at Quabbin Park Cemetery

Hampshire County

The Memorial Day weekend ceremony at the Quabbin Park Cemetery is about sacrifice.

It honors men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, fighting for our country. It also honors a special group of people from the Swift River Valley.

The brave Americans who served them aren’t forgotten. They’re still remembered each Memorial Day weekend at Quabbin Park Cemetery. 

In 1938, The Swift River Valley towns of Enfield, Dana, Prescott and Greenwich were flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir, which provides clean drinking water to Greater Boston. 

When the Swift River Valley was flooded, 6,601 graves had to be moved to Quabbin Park Cemetery and many of those people had served our country.  

Major Keith Poulin of The U.S. Air Force told 22News the ceremony is about those who put others before themselves.

“Whether it’s a sacrifice of lives in time of war or future development where 4 towns gave up their complete existence for the better of the state of Massachusetts,” said Poulin.

“It’s been a while but sometimes I think about it. There’s not too many left I’ll tell ya that,” Ray Cook, a WWII veteran and one of the few former residents of Enfield says though he left the area about 80 years ago, he still thinks of his home town.

This year’s ceremony is significant with the centennial of the WWI, where more than 100 Patriots from the former Swift River Valley towns served in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force.

“Anyone who gives up their way of life for the better of others is a legacy we must continue to honor,” said Cook.

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