Derry: Army vet serves as parade grand marshal
DERRY — It was a day to remember fallen heroes and honor those in uniform on Monday morning as the town celebrated Memorial Day with a parade through the center of town followed by the traditional service at MacGregor Park.
The parade and service were organized and directed under the supervision of VFW Post 1617, American Legion Post 9, the Derry Parks and Recreation Department and the local Cable 17 channel.
The American Legion Post Honor Guard led the procession down Crystal Avenue onto East Broadway.
This year's grand marshal was Army veteran David Taylor, a Derry resident who lost his left leg in a bomb blast while on patrol in Afghanistan.
The parade also featured the Pinkerton Academy USAF Junior ROTC, newly crowned Miss New Hampshire Megan Lyman, military vehicles from the 94th Military Police and marching bands from Pinkerton Academy and West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood middle schools.
As the parade wound down, VFW Post 1617 Commander Carl Starosciak led the more solemn task of the memorial service at the foot of the war memorials at MacGregor Park.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was one of the featured speakers during the ceremony and spoke of the sacrifices her family members had made in the service, including an uncle she never met because he was killed in action during World War II.
Congressman Frank Guinta thanked those who served for their service to the country and urged all those in attendance to take the time to thank the servicemen and women they meet for their sacrifices in the name of freedom.
The ceremony also included the laying of the wreaths in front of the World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq-Afghanistan memorials at the park. Those duties were handled by members of the American Legion, VFW Men's Auxiliary, Pinkerton JROTC, Boy Scout Troop 402 and the VFW.
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