Monday, November 11, 2013
Bundled up against the chill on a sunny, blustery day, Vineyarders turned out for the annual Veterans Day parade and remembrance ceremony, held in Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.
Oak Bluffs was designated a site of regional importance by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the third year in a row.
Peter Herrmann of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 9261 thanked everyone for coming to the ceremony, part of a daylong program honoring those who have served the country. Earlier in the morning, volunteers placed hundreds of flags along the paths of Oak Grove cemetery in Tisbury. Later in the day, veteran visits would take place at Windemere.
Speakers included Chaplain David Berube, who offered a prayer of thanks and remembrance for veterans, and June Smythe, visiting the Island from Australia. Ms. Smythe spoke of the similiarities between her nation and the one she was visiting.
"Back in Australia yesterday — because of the time difference — our country observed Remembrance Day," she said. Initially, just as it was in the United States, the day was Armistice Day, honoring the end of World War I and the veterans who had fought in the Great War.
"Nowadays, we honor everyone, simply every one of our veterans," Ms. Smythe said.
Representatives from the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars laid a wreath of remembrance at the base of Ocean Park's Civil War monument, and bugler Ed Rodgers performed a solemn rendition of Taps.
The ceremony concluded with sisters Emily and Haley Hewson singing Amazing Grace, dedicating the song to their grandfather, who had served in the Army.