STRONG TURNOUT FOR VETERANS IN NORTH CONWAY

by Christian Mower on November 12, 2011

SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE JOINED VETERANS – MANY OF THEM DRESSED IN THEIR SERVICE UNIFORMS – IN CHILLY TEMPERATURES AND GUSTY WINDS AT NORTH CONWAY’S SCHOULER PARK FRIDAY TO HONOR THE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE U.S.

RETIRED MARINE CORPS MAJ. AND STATE REP. FRANK MCCARTHY – WEARING HIS SERVICE DRESS UNIFORM – MADE REMARKS AND EXPLAINED THE SYMBOLISM OF PARTS OF THE CEREMONY, INCLUDING THE MEANING OF DIFFERENT FOLDS OF THE UNITED STATES FLAG.

THE KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND PROVIDED MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT. A GUN SALUTE AND THE PLAYING OF TAPS CONCLUDED THE CEREMONY.

ARMY AIR CORPS VETERAN EARL SMITH OF CONWAY WAS WEARING COVERALLS SIMILAR TO THE ONES HE WORE WHILE SERVING WITH THE 8TH AIR FORCE AS A BALL TURRET GUNNER DURING WORLD WAR TWO. SMITH SAYS HE WAS THINKING OF HIS FELLOW CREW MEMBERS ON THE B-17 FLYING FORTRESS BOMBER HE FLEW ON – HE AND ONE OTHER PERSON ARE THE ONLY CREW MEMBERS STILL ALIVE.

THERESA SHEPARD – WHO WAS VISITING FROM MASSACHUSETTS – SAYS HER SON WAS MARCHING IN A VETERANS DAY PARADE IN NEW YORK. SHEPARD’S DAUGHTER MARY ENJOYED THE GUN SALUTE AND LIKED THE BAND.

THE SCHOULER PARK CEREMONY FOLLOWED A SHORT PARADE DOWN ROUTE 16 AND A MORNING CHURCH SERVICE.

SPONSORED BY NORTH CONWAY’S AMERICAN LEGION POST 95, VETERANS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WERE TREATED TO A POST-CEREMONY COMPLIMENTARY GOURMET MEAL PREPARED BY CULINARY ARTS STUDENTS AT KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL.

CERTAIN RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES OFFERED SPECIAL DISCOUNTS TO VETERANS THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

VETERANS WERE ALSO HONORED AT OTHER CEREMONIES HELD IN THE VALLEY AREA AND WESTERN MAINE.