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On May 4, the town of Beverly, Massachusetts threw a huge parade and concert for 19-year-old “American Idol” contestant Angie Miller, who made the top three in the competition.“It’s a great chance to show off our fair city,” Mayor Bill Scanlon said. The city spent $31,200 on security, cleanup and other costs associated with the events, he said.

So it must have looked like an odd contrast in American values when the town of Beverly, Massachusetts then canceled its parade for Memorial Day 23 days later, a tradition for more than 100 years. Thousands turned out for the pop star, but few turn out for the heroic fallen:

BEVERLY, Mass. (AP) — Veterans in suburban Boston gathered in a park to mark Memorial Day this year rather than hold a parade because of failing health and dwindling numbers.

The city of Beverly called off its parade this year because so few veterans would be able to march. The parade has been a fixture in the town since the Civil War.

Jerry Guilebbe is the city’s Director of Veterans’ Services. He says it can be difficult for older vets to take part.

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