fGOFFSTOWN - 28 May 2012: American Legion,, Wesley Wyman Post #16 was in command today in honor of our fallen soldiers, and all military personnel Stateside and those stationed around the globe. Many thanks goes out to Post #16 members and Commander, Kent Nolan for their dedication to our hero's who are with us today in spirit. Goffstown has it's share of military families and several were among us today throughout the ceremony. We hope you appreciate our Community news production of this event. Please share with your friends and relatives and those who are near and afar. Let us allow this opportunity to bring out our appreciation for our soldiers. (view 56 still images of the parade)
Let us take a moment in time to hear from Commander, Nolan on the important aspects of this wonderful celebration today:
Memorial Day 2012 letter of thanks to the people of Goffstown:
As I sit at my desk with the memories of the 2012 Goffstown Memorial Day Parade still fresh in my mind, I feel compelled to share my thoughts and gratitude to the hundreds of friends and neighbors who have made this annual observance special in so many ways to so many people. "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." These words from George Washington come to me whenever I attend a veteran’s event but most particularly on Memorial Day.
First I will thank Kathy and Sue in Town Hall for their ability and willingness to adapt to the ever changing needs that an event like this one inevitably brings to their desks. Jason and the hardworking folks at DPW and Cemeteries do a phenomenal job keeping the grounds, within which so many of our veterans will forever rest. Our parade moves smoothly and safely thanks to Goffstown’s finest. I am proud to say that many of them have worn the uniform of our military before becoming the guardians and protectors of our community.
I know that I speak for all veterans when I tell you that for us, nothing is more beautiful than the sight of the Stars and Stripes flying brilliantly against a cloudless azure sky. Today, Goffstown residents were greeted by this sight on Main Street as Goffstown Fire Department Ladder One hoisted our Flag high for all to see. Kids of all ages never tire of seeing spotless, bright red fire trucks and today we were honored to have one at the head of our procession as well.
Marching with us today was the largest contingent of young people that I have seen since the Post starting organizing the Memorial Day Parade. Goffstown Babe Ruth Softball players led the youth groups with their banner and lovely smiles. The Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Brownies marched their Colors proudly. Goffstown Screamin’ Eagles football players, cheerleaders and parents walked with us for the first time this year. Of special note (no pun intended) was the GHS Band. This group of talented young folks marched the entire two and a half miles playing military marches and patriotic songs. When we halted to honor our fallen soldiers, sailors, airman and marines, their trumpeters did a splendid job of playing Taps; 24 of the most solemn notes ever composed.
At the Town Hall, after I concluded my welcoming remarks, two members of the Mountain View Select Chorus Kathleen Bertrand and Alyssa Edger did a beautiful job singing the National Anthem. Joining me on the steps of Town Hall today were guest speakers Selectman David Pierce, New Hampshire Senator Lou D’Allesandro and U.S Congressman Frank Guinta. Each did a very nice job of capturing the spirit and meaning of Memorial Day and urged everyone to carry that spirit throughout the year.
The Wesley Wyman Post 16 Color/Honor Guard members were LTC Maurice Demers USA (Ret), LTC Mike Pelletier NHANG, New Hampshire State Command Sergeant Major John Nanof NHANG, Stanley Cook and Tom Neal. Leading the other members of the Post 16 Legion Family was our oldest member, Mr. Henry Hunter. Perhaps I should not be too surprised that he was right out front. Mr. Hunter is a veteran of the European Campaign in WWII, where he fought his way from the beaches of Normandy all the way to the heart of Germany. After following him today I can honestly say that he has not lost a step.
On behalf of the veterans of Goffstown and the members of the Wesley Wyman Post 16 Legion Family, I want to thank everyone who took part in helping to make this Memorial Day Parade one of the finest in New Hampshire. It was a special treat for me to see friends old and new; Steve Shea whose father served in a B-17 in the hostile skies over Europe and Mr. Charlie Anderson who served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex in the Pacific during WWII.
As I mentioned in my closing remarks in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the northeast corner of Westlawn Cemetery; there are hundreds of stories here to be heard. All one has to do is take a moment to visit, read and listen. From the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 through The War Between the States, Mexican War, Spanish American War, World Wars I and II to the Korean War, War in Vietnam and the current War on Terrorism.
All gave some, some gave all. Thank you for joining us in remembering them today.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kent H. Nolan, Commander
Wesley Wyman Post 16
The American Legion
Goffstown, New Hampshire