WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Field Park will be silent on Monday morning.
It just won't be the usual, solemn moment of silence that accompanies American Legion Post 152's annual Memorial Day observance.
The silence will be total, because the usual Memorial Day ceremony and the parade that precedes it were canceled nearly a month ago by the post in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But although there will not be a public gathering or a closure of Main Street, there will be remembrance of Williamstown veterans who have died — either in service of their country or during peacetime.
"We're basically going to do the same thing we do on Veterans Day," Post 152 Commander Tom Webb said on Wednesday. "What that consists of is we're going to each of the [town's] cemeteries and doing a short ceremony.
"We'll lower the flag, do Taps, fire a gun salute, raise the flag and go to the next cemetery."
He said everyone will wear masks and maintain social distancing rules, and he suspects that will be a little easier than usual because the ceremonies likely will involve fewer veterans than usually participate in the November memorials.
"We're basically notifying all the members of the honor guard, but I'm fairly certain at least half of them won't come," Webb said. "We'll pare it down, but it will be pared down voluntarily. In the end, we'll probably have somewhere between six and 10 people to do all the cemeteries."
Webb said he was not sure how other American Legion posts in the area were handling the holiday. He said the decision to cancel the public remembrance in Williamstown was an obvious one.
"There's not a lot you can do about it," he said. "It is what it is. It's better to be safe than it is to pull off some kind of event. We had, basically, a ceremony prepared for this year, but we'll use it for next year's ceremony instead.
"At this point, I don't think there's much anybody can do."
One thing the Legionnaires can do is honor the memory of their fallen comrades. They just will do so outside the public eye.
"We're not making an announcement of where we're starting or when because we don't want the public to come," Webb said. "We appreciate people coming out any other year, but this is something we're going to do more or less privately for safety concerns."
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The varsity tennis courts at Williams College are undergoing a large-scale renovation project.
The plan of the Torrence M. Hunt courts is to remove all of the components of the six original competition courts to make them more sufficient to play on and maintain.
"I'm most excited about breaking in the new courts for our first home-match of the season this spring," head women's coach Anik Cepeda said.
The unsuitable material beneath the old courts created annual maintenance strategies that attempted to fix the cracking and poor drainage of the six courts. The new courts will be post tension concrete, which will allow for the courts to be better able to withstand weather conditions and maintain a better surface.
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Despite the vagaries of Mother Nature and the voices of those who raised concerns about the plan, the town plans to temporarily close Spring Street to vehicles the next two Saturday evenings to allow outdoor dining. click for more