We Will Never Forget

Speaker Among The Lucky Ones,
Still Alive To Recall Days In Uniform

By Steve Jusseaume

Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 12, 2002

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Marine veteran Edward Walsh holds the flag during North Hampton's Veterans Day
ceremony held in front of the public library Monday morning.
[Staff photo by Sarah Zenewicz]

HAMPTON — More than 50 veterans and Hampton residents gathered at two venues Monday — the Marine Memorial at Hampton Beach at 9 and the High Street Cemetery at 11 a.m. — to pay tribute to our nation's veterans on a warm but drizzly wind-swept morning.

Veteran Dan Nersesian acted as master of ceremonies at both locations, and introduced Jerry McConnell as guest speaker.

McConnell, who saw action as a Marine at Guadalcanal during World War II, recalled the fire fight. "I remember it was 60 years ago on this date," McConnell said. "On an island in the Pacific. A day when bombs were falling, filling the air. We were shelled pretty heavily by the Japanese that day, (and) many folk who were with us weren't able to come home."

McConnell noted the contributions of veterans throughout the country, as well as those from Hampton. "Once you put the uniform on and serve your country, you become a veteran. ... We should give thanks to all of them today for their service."

John Holman of Hampton gave both the invocation and the benediction, and Winnacunnet High School junior Jenny Petruzziello sang the national anthem.

Michael MacDonald of American Legion Post 35 laid a wreath, symbolic for all veterans, at the High Street Cemetery. Among the celebrants were Hampton Selectmen Skip Sullivan and Jim Workman. Col. Paul Lessard, Ken Malcolm and Tom Gillick also participated in the ceremonies.

Chris Elliott of Portsmouth played taps.

At the closing of the High Street Cemetery services, Nersesian reminded those in attendance that Veterans Day is "a celebration of all veterans of all wars, both living and dead."