Ludlow residents lined streets for Memorial Day parade

104th Fighter Wing conducted flyover for town's annual observance

LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Ludlow’s parade stepped-off from the Portuguese Memorial on Winsor Street at 9:00 A.M., and included a flyover from members of the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Base.

Roberta Bennet has watched Ludlow’s Memorial Day parade march by her home since she moved there in 1958. It’s become a family tradition for her and her neighbors. They set up chairs at 8:30 before the parade began at 9 Monday morning.

“Everybody knows we’re sections. Some other people, we all have our sections every year, so nobody steps on us!” said Roberta Bennet, who was celebrating her 82nd birthday on Memorial Day.

The parade started off somber, with quiet applause as those who serve the town and country reminded residents of the ultimate sacrifice some made to protect our freedom. The Ludlow High School band played patriotic songs and the hymns of each branch of the military.

In Ludlow, residents said as they remembered all those who died serving our country, they specifically paused to remember the Portuguese Americans who gave their lives for this country.

“I think people know that it’s important to our town to keep the tradition going and we love Ludlow and very Portuguese, so the heritage here and we get to honor our veterans and also honor the Portuguese community,” said Cidalia Vidal. Her son and daughter were marching in the parade this year.

Then, at 9:50AM sharp, two F-15 fighter jets performed a very low fly-by over the parade. Despite upbeat music and floats, the meaning of this day was not lost on the Town. The parade ended at the Ludlow Veterans Memorial where residents gathered to honor our fallen heroes.

Click here for a schedule of Memorial Day ceremonies and parades in communities across western Massachusetts.