Bristol's younger generation carries the torch on Memorial Day



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The 2011 Voice of Democracy Essay Contest winner, David Gibson, age 14, delivers the keynote address at the Memorial Day Observance in Bristol, as Master of Ceremonies Ron Preble looks on. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
June 01, 2011
BRISTOL—Newfound area residents observed Memorial Day with the traditional parade, a solemn ceremony in Central Square and gatherings of friends, family and community members.

The procession in Bristol began at Freudenberg-NOK, making a stop at Homeland Cemetery to lay a wreath at the flagpole, and then continuing to Central Square, where attendees were greeted with words of welcome from Master of Ceremonies Ron Preble.

Standing before the Civil War Canon in Monument Square, Preble reminded everyone that Memorial Day observances began in the United States in 1866, when the Grand Army of the Republic and Major Gen. John Logan resolved to honor all deceased soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guards, airmen, merchant marines and all other citizen soldiers. But these days, we remember the fallen from every war since the founding of the Republic, including the sacrifices of our warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A highlight of the proceedings, as always, was the keynote speech from the 2011 winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Voice of Democracy essay contest winner, Newfound student David Gibson.

An exceptionally poised and articulate Gibson addressed a large crowd, which included many of his fellow students, neighbors and friends.

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The 2011 Voice of Democracy Essay Contest winner, David Gibson, age 14, delivers the keynote address at the Memorial Day Observance in Bristol, as Master of Ceremonies Ron Preble looks on. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
In his remarks, he reflected on what will be the role of his generation in the future of America.

"Our role is to protect America, and to ensure its future; our future. To ensure that the countless sacrifices previous generations have made have not been made in vain," said Gibson. "They have lit and kept the torch of freedom alight, so that we may continue in their hallowed footsteps. They have fought and persevered so that we today might enjoy the blessings of liberty. We, as a generation, cannot simply relax our guard and do nothing. No! We must forge ahead, with strength in our veins and bravery in our hearts. It matters not what venture we find ourselves in; we must unceasingly strive for success in all that we do."

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Members of the extended Libby family gathered this weekend at Kathy and Wayne Libby's house in Bristol for their annual reunion. The group donned their most patriotic attire, all in red, except for Wayne's Marine Corp T-shirt, and joined the solemn observance in Bristol's Central Square. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
The ceremony also featured patriotic music from the combined Newfound Memorial Middle School and Regional High School bands, a laying of the wreaths at the war memorials in the square and the ceremonial tossing of a wreath into the waters of the Newfound River off the South Main Street Bridge in memory of service members lost at sea.

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