Tri-Town honors veterans

Nov 11, 2022

On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, in the Tri-Town, residents gathered to honor heroes who have served our country. In ceremonies with guest speakers, musical performances and moments of silence, those around the community payed homage to lives spent serving others. 

In Marion, the Old Landing Veterans Park was filled with people gathered to honor the town’s veterans.

Attendees young and old heard from Marion resident Technical Sergeant Mandy Givens who spoke about what military service means to her.

“Service is sacrificing time with your loved ones, spending weekends in support of base exercises and missions,” she said. “Forgoing holiday rituals and dinners in order to deploy overseas. Missing birthdays and sometimes memorial services and funerals, not having a chance to say goodbye to your loved ones.”

Givens added that while military service does involve sacrifice, it also provides a chance to grow and learn.

“Service also means exploring a new part of the world. Service is an opportunity to provide many to earn a living while learning a new skill that will benefit our country.”

In attendance at the Marion event was Bob Jones, a Navy veteran who served from 1959 to 1965. Jones said he served for six months on a Cuban blockade and a couple of years in the Vietnam area.

Jones, who stood at attention the entire ceremony, reflected on the event, saying “It’s a pleasure to stand here and honor those who have served.”

“It’s a free country because of [veterans],” he added.

Following Givens’ speech, the Sippican School Band played a rendition of “And the Trumpets Sound,” followed by “The Grand Old Flag.”

In Mattapoisett, residents gathered at the auditorium at Old Hammondtown School to honor the town’s veterans.

Present to deliver remarks at the ceremony were Select Board member Tyler Macallister, State Rep. William Straus (D-Mattapoisett), and Mattapoisett Veterans Agent Gerrior. Junior High School student Kyle Cameron read the Pledge of Allegiance and Governor’s Proclamation.

“This is a day we honor them and we hope, we continue the dream that there will be peace,” Straus said. “We hope and work toward peace so that those who have served can come home.”

The keynote speaker for the afternoon was Professor James Holmes, a professor at the Naval War College, who spoke at Mattapoisett’s memorial day ceremony.

Holmes told the true story behind the recently-released film Devotion, which tells the true story of fighter pilots Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner as they became the United States’ most celebrated wingmen for their efforts during the Korean war.

Holmes painted a picture of heroism and brotherhood between the two pilots in a real-life Top Gun scenario.

“Courageous men and women serve and sometimes die in wartime so that others might live and worthy causes may advance,” said Holmes. “Those who serve advance a worthy cause, and those who perish do not give their lives in vain.”

The Showstoppers, a local singing group for children, sang “Bless Our Troops,” “God Bless America” and “Star Spangled Banner.”

“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry, but these guys do it to me every time,” said Navy Commander Rachel Perron through tears after the Showstoppers’ performance.