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Meredith parade, ceremonies honor veterans

Meredith's Veteran's Day parade goes down Lake Street toward Hesky Park. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
November 14, 2018
MEREDITH — Veterans from all eras of this country were honored for their service and sacrifice during American Legion Post 33's annual Veteran's Day ceremony.

A Legion honor guard led a parade of veterans and scouts on Sunday morning, first for a ceremony in front of the Meredith Public Library and then for a ceremony at Hesky Park.

Selectman Jeanie Forrester noted that it was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the day that lead to the founding of Veterans Day.

"To all our veterans it's not just your country that owes you a huge debt of gratitude, it's the entire world," Forrester said.

She said to all the veterans, "Our flag flies higher and prouder because you served. Nov. 11 is your day."

World War II veteran Elliott Finn said the country's best and brightest are around the world fighting for their country and the defense of freedom echoes across the world from the beaches of Normandy to the sands of the Middle East.

"Many of these young men and women did not live long enough to experience the privilege they fought for," Finn said.

He said service people have come from all walks of life and all had in common "courage, pride, determination, and dedication" who leave the comforts of home to defend the rights of others.

"The debt we owe to those who have risked everything for America is not one that can fully be repaid," Finn said. "Thank you very much for your sacrifices."

The parade moved to Hesky Park for a ceremony lead by Bob Jones of the Northeast POW/MIA Network. Jones thanked everybody who works on behalf of those who have served, including those who continue the POW/MIA vigil in the park.

The guest speaker was Karen Thurston, president of the Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire. Thurston said Blue Star Mothers, or mothers with children in military service, do a lot to support veterans.

"We need to say thank you every day when we see veterans," Thurston said.

Thurston said veterans need to be recognized year round and not just on holidays.

Thurston is a strong supporter of POW/MIA's and works to spread the word about the cause. She said everyday she thinks about POW/MIA's and how their families are in limbo wondering if that will be the day the car will come to their house announcing their loved ones remains have been found or the possibility their loved one could still be alive.

Jones gave Thurston special recognition for her work with the Blue Star Mothers and raising awareness of the group.

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