Archive for May, 2009

Small But Heartfelt

May 27, 2009 3 comments

With thanks to Fay Piergiovannie and Janice Brown… they wanted to share this with those who have fond memories of band and music with John Roberts.  This is based on a article appearing in the Hampshire Gazette.

Off to Chesterfield. No tanks, floats, marching bands or majorettes – just a brisk jaunt to the cemetery, with more people following the parade than those marching in it, all coming to gather on a small hillside, with graves dating back to the early 1800s. John Roberts, longtime commander of Post 304, led that parade, in a golf cart driver by Donnal Forgea. Roberts turns 90 this year-something in his genes, he says, since his mother lived to be 100. Asked if he plans to hang on that long, he said, “depends on whether I want to or not.” Though he’s battled cancer and has trouble walking, his voice is as strong as it was during his days as a “ glorified PFC” with the 85th Custer Division during the Anzio campaign in Italy.

Speaking to the unseen heroes interred around him, Roberts loudly prayed that the ideals they fought for would be upheld. “Salute the dead!” Forgea thundered, and the sharp report of four rifles pierced the air. That the tiny, low-key procession went by in a matter of seconds was entirely fitting, said Forgea. “Like everything in America, it doesn’t have to be big to be heartfelt. In some of the larger celebrations, the main reasons for gathering can be blurred,” he said. “Ninety percent of the people are there to see the governor; here it’s just about honoring those who gave their lives.”

By the way… if you want to send “Mr. Roberts” a note or card, it’s 202 South Street, Chesterfield MA 01012

Categories: 1950's, 1960's, Teachers