Marion recognizes courage, sacrifice on Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2018

MARION —  On a cool Sunday morning, Marion residents packed themselves into the Sippican School auditorium to honor military service members. 

The auditorium walls echoed with the sounds of Sippican School band members tuning their instruments in preparation for playing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “And the Trumpets Sound” and “Grand Old Flag.”

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Napoli opened the Veterans Day ceremony by reminding visitors of the day’s importance. 

“Veterans Day is a unique and special day for America,” said Napoli. “On this day, we set aside our routine activities and pause to appreciate the men and women who have served this nation in uniform.” 

Board of Selectmen Chair Norman Hills read from Gov. Charlie Baker’s annual Veterans Day proclamation and added a few words about service members. 

“These men and women are your neighbors, your teachers, small business owners, and one of them could actually be a Selectman,” joked Hills, who was dressed in his Navy uniform. 

Hills added that he was honored to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, retired Colonel Jonathan F. Henry, Marion’s interim Department of Public Works director.

He gave a brief history lesson about the military following the events of World War I, also explaining that he was involved in “fighting” the Russians during the Cold War. 

“In 2017, I celebrated my 50th anniversary receiving a commission in the United States Army reserve,” he added. “I was also the only one at the reunion that drove a 50-year-old car.”

Henry ended his speech with a challenge for the audience: help veterans with PTSD. Citing a personal anecdote, he asserted that the symptoms of PTSD should be identified and treated in veterans of all all ages.

“It’s your duty, and mine, as citizens to see that it happens and it’s done right,” he said.