A large crowd turned out for Duxbury’s Memorial Day services on Monday morning.

Despite a smoky haze in the air –– a result of brush fires in distant Quebec –– Depot Street was packed with onlookers waving American flags as members of the American Legion post, town officials, Boy Scout and Girl Scouts and the Duxbury High School band marched by.

The highlight of the day was the official rededication of the World War I Monument. The monument, shattered in an accident decades ago and all but forgotten in the woods behind Mayflower Cemetery, was recently restored. Joe Shea, who discovered the pieces of the monument, led a committee of dedicated residents in the restoration efforts. After voters at the 2009 Town Meeting approved the use of Community Preservation Act funds, the committee raised the rest of the money privately and work was completed only within the last couple of weeks.

On Monday, the parade procession paused briefly at the memorial before entering First Parish Church for the Memorial Day service.

“What a perfect day to be rededicating Duxbury’s World War I memorial,” said Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Shawn Dahlen. “Thank you to the dedicated committee that worked diligently for three years to make this a reality. Thank you to the many volunteers who offered their time to complete the installation. I am proud to be part of a community where the efforts of so many volunteers shape the character of our community.”

Inside the church, American Legion Post Commander Joseph Giannangelo opened the service by pointing out this was the 126th year Duxbury has hosted Memorial Day services.

“May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for our dead,” Giannangelo said.

The 2010 Memorial Day speaker was David Flaherty, a 1985 graduate of Duxbury High School and current U.S. Coast Guard Commander. He has served in the Coast Guard for 18 years.

Flaherty talked about the Coast Guard’s humble beginnings as an arm of the U.S. Treasury (“Fortunately we don’t collect taxes anymore,” he quipped) and asked the crowd to remember those in the Coast Guard who have given their lives in the service of their country.

For more photos from Memorial Day, click here