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Plymouth pays respects to its fallen heroes



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Veterans, friends, family and the supporting community gathered outside town hall in Plymouth for the annual Memorial Day ceremony, held Monday, May 31. (click for larger version)
June 03, 2010
PLYMOUTH — Friends, family and supporters of those who have fallen in service of their country paid respects to their lost heroes as Plymouth held its annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony on Main Street.

Selectboard Chair and Lt. Col. Val Scarborough welcomed the crowd to this year's ceremony, remarking on the importance of seeing so many come out to pay their respects. "In many places, traditional observance has diminished over the years, with Memorial Day sales taking the place of honor and remembrance," said Scarborough. "Looking at the group gathered here today, I'm proud to say that is not the case here in Plymouth."

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Major John Wheeler, a distinguished US Army officer and Plymouth Regional High School graduate, was the guest speaker as this year’s ceremony. (click for larger version)
State Senator Deb Reynolds was next to speak, praising those who have given their lives through the history of the United States, as well as taking a moment to honor Spc. Marc Decoteau, a Waterville Valley native and Plymouth Regional High School graduate who was killed shortly after deploying to Afghanistan earlier this year. "This brave young man deserves not only our thanks and prayers," said Reynolds, "but also our resolve that what he fought and died for will never be forgotten and that his death will not be in vain."

Reynolds also emphasized the need to recognized the sacrifice of the families who have lost their loved ones to war, and the need to make sure that they, like a fellow soldier on the battlefield, are not left behind.

A special guest this year was Major John Wheeler, who reflected on the lessons he'd learned from the late Capt. Doug DiCenzo, a classmate at PRHS in the mid-1990s. He praised both DiCenzo and Decoteau, as well as the efforts by friends a family to keep their memories alive. "They represent all that is good about this community," said Wheeler. "I think about them every day I put on this uniform, and I will never allow them to be forgotten.

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Military personnel pay their respects to Captain Doug DiCenzo with a 21-gun salute at the DiCenzo Bridge prior to the ceremony in downtown Plymouth. (click for larger version)
Kate Donahue provided a poem to mark Memorial Day, this year's piece spoken from the perspective of a fallen soldier in World War. American Legion Commander then took the podium to close the ceremony, providing as he has for many years a story from his service, this time speaking of the dogs members of the US Marine Corps had laughed about bringing over to aid in the war efforts in the South Pacific, but would grow to regard as true companions they wished to take home with them at the end of the conflict. "Even a tough marine can cry," said Berg.

The Baker Valley Band provided two music breaks during the ceremony, the big band performing a riveting rendition of "God Bless America" and others throughout the morning. All were invited to the American Legion hall following the ceremony for refreshments.

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