HAROLD CHAMBERLIN, Commander of American Legion Post 18, leads the veterans assembled on Brewster Field in a salute as three volleys are fired on Memorial Day, May 28, in remembrance of those who gave their lives in military service. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
May 31, 2012WOLFEBORO — On this past long weekend's third beautiful day Wolfeboro celebrated Memorial Day Monday, May 28 with a parade beginning at Brewster Field and ending up at Cate Park, making several stops along the way to decorate monuments in front of Carpenter School, the Wolfeboro Post Office, and at Dockside.
A small group of veterans young and old and representing all branches of the U.S. military marched alongside their fellow veteran and Commander of the American Legion Post 18 Harold Chamberlain, who organizes the annual parade. The Kingswood Regional High School Band, directed by Music Director Robert Burns, marched in step as well.
Pause was made at each of the monuments while Chamberlain raised the flag. Taps were played and members of the Ladies Auxiliary decorated each monument with flowered wreaths and small American flags. After a succession of three shots by the firing brigade the parade was led to the next monument.
At the monument located outside of the Wolfeboro Post Office Chamberlain took a moment to announce that through the efforts of Wolfeboro's American Legion Post 18 the flagpole there is an actual war monument dedicated to the many victims of 9-11.
Executive Counselor Raymond S. Burton spoke to the assembled crowd at the bandstand in Cate Park at the parade's conclusion.
"It's a pleasure to appear as one of your constitutional officers of the State of New Hampshire serving now my 34th year as a member of the N.H. Executive Council," he began.
Burton, who was wearing a yellow beret-style hat, said he was doing so in honor of one of his former students who, after graduating from the New Hampshire high school at which he was principal, went on to serve in the Vietnam War and died in battle.
"I wear this hat today remembering that connection," he said. "Everyone here has some connection with Memorial Day or Veteran's Day in your own mind."
It's because of these connections, he continued, that "we find ourselves here… being proud Americans that took the time to show up today and participate in order to honor the veterans that have made it all possible for us to be here today as Americans and enjoy all that we do throughout this country."
In closing Burton quoted "In Flanders Fields," a First World War poem written by John McCrae in 1915:
"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
"That would be my message to you today..." he said. "We are here to serve, but let us remember we have to take up the quarrel with those who come after us – so let us keep strong, our military strong and above all our faith in the Constitution of the United States of America."