The New Bedford Memorial Day Parade may have been canceled, but the sacrifices made by veterans were still remembered during a brief ceremony at Clasky Common Park Monday afternoon.

The city celebrated its 148th annual observance of Memorial Day with a wreath laying ceremony by the Civil War monument, which happens to be celebrating its 150th anniversary this July.

The ceremony was hosted Bob Bromley and Chris Gomes, both members of the New Bedford Veterans' Advisory Board.

Gomes, also the city's Veterans' Agent, said the importance of Memorial Day is about remembering those that are no longer with us.

"It's not about thanking guys that are around now, it's celebrating those who were with us and are no longer with us," Gomes said. "When (the public) come out and do that, no veteran truly dies."

Also during the ceremony, the names of veterans that have passed away over the last year were read, including late New Bedford Police Chief David Provencher who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era.

A new part of the program added this year was inviting members of the public to place carnations along the memorial in honor of family and friends that had served and are no longer alive.

Gomes said it was a way to get the public more involved with the Memorial Day services, as well as possibly heal wounds of loss.

"By them coming through and placing the flower, it could almost be a healing point for some of the family as it brings up that memory they may not have thought about in a while."

Gomes and other speakers noted the importance of keeping such memories of loved ones alive and passing them along to future generations so they can appreciate the sacrifices made for freedom.

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