Just after 11 a.m. Saturday morning, people emptied out of stores and flooded the streets of Vineyard Haven as the Northeast Navy Marching Band marched down Main street. This Flag Day parade was held in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Veterans Memorial Park.
Today is Flag Day. A rededication of Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven begins when the Northeast Navy Marching Band steps off at 11 a.m. from St. Augustine’s Church. The park was bought and built by American Legion Post 257 in 1964.
War Veterans Memorial Park was built more than half a century ago by hand by a small group of Vineyard Haven veterans who were members of the George W. Goethals American Legion Post. The men spent their weekends hauling fill and toting rakes and shovels to convert ten acres of swamp in an area known as Cat Hollow to a public park.
The grass is lush, the soccer and ball fields ready for the punishment of cleats worn by young soccer players and grown men sliding under the tag at second base. Two brand new scoreboards stand ready, as workmen put finishing touches on $500,000 worth of improvements to the Veterans Memorial Park in Vineyard Haven.
Athletes of all ages around the Island await the grand reopening of the park on Saturday, Sept. 12. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. There will be speeches by the selectmen and other town and local officials.