Honoring Memorial Day With Respect, Celebration

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By Susan Morse

Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 27, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Mike Dunbar, foreground, and Eamon Cullinane practice during a break at the North Hampton Memorial Day picnic on Monday. Eamon, on bass, and Mike, on lead guitar, played a bandstand concert with Eamon's father, vocalist Jeff Cullinane.
[Ralph Morang courtesy photo]

NORTH HAMPTON -- Memorial Day was honored and celebrated Monday as residents attended remembrance services and then joined together for food and music at the bandstand.

American Legion Post No. 35 served the hot dogs while musician Jeff Cullinane, of Hampton, provided the entertainment for at least 60 people, including retired Army Capt. Suzanne Tetreault of Exeter, who was guest speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony.

Veteran John Cann of Hampton, enjoying a hot dog, had been among those attending the Memorial Day service in Hampton. He was asked what brought him out to the bandstand.

"The weather, good friends I've known for years," said Cann, who served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1959.

Jim MacDonald, of Hampton, said he came to listen to the music.

People sat on blankets or chairs, played games in the grass or just mingled.

Greta Lincoln, 6, her brother Garrett Lincoln, 3, and friend Gregory Hill, 5, played "Star Wars" with sticks as light sabers.

Mom Becky Lincoln, of North Hampton, brought them to the Memorial Day parade and ceremony that morning in Hampton.

"We're trying to explain the meaning," Lincoln said of the significance of Memorial Day. "They heard the word 'parade.'"

Having fun is part of the day, according to Cullinane.

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer.

Cullinane has provided the bandstand entertainment each Memorial Day for years.

"It's worth it to show the bright side," Cullinane said. "People see Memorial Day as a day to go to the cemetery and paying respect, not on the fun side."

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