At a ceremony Monday, Paul J. Brawley, a commander in the United States Navy Reserve, quoted Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “The soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
Not long after sunrise, volunteers gathered in Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven to help set up the Avenue of the Flags, commemorating those who served. Community members young and old helped prepare this final leg of the Memorial Day parade.
Veterans, law enforcement officials, Coast Guard members and Boy Scouts marched to the beat of a drum and patriotic music during the annual Memorial Day parade Monday. Plus happy birthday wishes were in order for veterans agent Jo Ann Murphy.
There was never a fairer Memorial Day than Monday when Vineyard Haven stirred to music now martial, now solemn on the clear air, and stood with bared head to do reverence to veterans of old wars and of new.
Traditions will be kept this Memorial Day weekend as the Vineyard honors veterans and celebrates the coming summer. As in years past, events begin Friday with students at the Tisbury and Edgartown schools marching to the sea to lay flowers in the water.
Veterans, active service people and ordinary citizens gathered in Vineyard Haven on Memorial Day to remember those who dedicated their lives to a sacred purpose.
Wesley R. Winston, an army veteran of the Viet Nam era, read the names of fallen comrades. Four families received gold stars, a tradition that dates back to the First World War when mothers of fallen soldiers began calling themselves gold star mothers.
Seen in West Tisbury this week: a steady flow of pickup trucks in and out of the parking lot by Alley’s General Store driven by landscapers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians. Fueled by coffee and breakfast sandwiches, iPhones pressed against their ears, Island tradesmen were on the move. There were windows to hang, screens to repair, painting touchups to do once the May sunshine burned through the fog, seaside gardens waiting for a top coat of compost.