Yarmouth St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Honor Sgt. Sean Gannon

Yarmouth Police officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed in the line of duty. End Of Watch 4/12/18 RIP

YARMOUTH – This year’s St. Patrick’s Parade is Yarmouth will honor fallen Police Sergeant Sean Gannon, who was killed in the line of duty on April 12, 2018 while serving an arrest warrant.

Organizers said the parade will feature participants from a cross-section of the community that has shown “a tremendous outpouring of support” for the commemorative parade.

A large police presence in honor of Gannon’s is expected, including Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross, more than 20 police officers from Ireland, color guard units from across Cape Cod and beyond, and a Boston-area pipe and drum corps.

“The committee has decided to dedicate it to the memory of Sean Gannon and we’re really happy that they’re doing that,” said Mary Vilbon of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce,” said Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Vilbon.

“The theme of the parade this year is ‘The Spirit of the Community,’ and I think that’s very appropriate for what Sean has given to our community.”

There will also be a group of marchers from Gannon’s graduating class at the MBTA Police Academy in Quincy, as well as the local Dennis-Yarmouth Girl’s Field Hockey team.

Gannon’s K-9 partner Nero will not be participating in the parade this year as he has in the past. However, other K-9 officers and their dogs will be attending along the parade route.

In addition to the police presence, the parade will feature 25 to 30 floats, marching bands from area high schools, civic groups and community leaders.

Parade Committee Chairman Desmond Keogh said that the focus of this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade, “The Spirit of Community,” is to “offer the community an opportunity to heal and feel Sgt. Gannon’s spirit, and love for the parade that he marched in for many years.”

Keogh said he reached out to Gannon’s family, and they graciously gave approval for the committee to begin making preparations for this year’s parade in honor of Sean and Nero, Sgt. Gannon’s K9 partner that was also injured in the incident.

Sgt. Gannon and Nero had been regular participants in the Yarmouth parade, and Keogh thought that the committee should do something in their honor.

The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is retired Yarmouth Police K9 officer Peter B. McClelland, who trained Nero as a puppy and remained at his side while the dog was recuperating from his injuries.

“He was literally side-by-side with Nero for days and actually took care of Nero following the incident. Another symbol of the spirit of the community, so we think he’s very deserving of that honor,” Vilbon said.

Gannon grew up in New Bedford, graduated from Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth, and was a member of the Stonehill College Campus Police before joining the Yarmouth Police Department in 2010. In addition to being a regular participant in the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade, he was active in civic organizations. Officer Gannon was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant in honor of his dedication to the police force and the community.

The 14th annual Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade is Saturday, March 9, beginning at 11:00 a.m. It will begin at Skull Island and head westward for 1.9 miles to the Town and Country, near the intersection of Route 28 and Higgins Crowell Road.

Parking is available on side streets near the parade route and at the old Yarmouth Drive In, where the Yarmouth Irish Festival will be held. There is no parking at Skull Island, which will be used as a staging area for the parade.

Those who want to register a float or march in the parade can contact organizers via the parade website at capecodstpatricksparade.com.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center 

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