Peterborough pays tribute to veterans at Sunday ceremony
Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was started by President Woodrow Wilson at the conclusion of World War I, which ended on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour on Nov. 11, 1918.
"And so we now find ourselves gathered today on Nov. 11 as did our countrymen and women did 94 years ago to pay tribute to the nation's veterans and to show gratitude for the freedom and opportunity they have won for each of us," said retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Dale Gabel to the crowd.
Unlike Memorial Day, which was enacted for those who died while serving their country, Veterans Day was created to honor all U.S. veterans who have served both in war and peace time, he said.
"So today, Veterans Day, if you have the opportunity seek out and spend some time with a veteran you know. Visit a V.A. hospital and spend some time with a veteran you don't know, but they'll certainly appreciate the company. Listen to their stories share in their triumphs and thank them for serving their nation and helping to keep it the beacon of freedom it has been since its founding," Gabel said.
As a rear admiral in the Coast Guard, Gabel supervised all Coast Guard missions across eight states in the northeast and over 2,000 miles of coastline in the northeast from the Canadian border to New Jersey. He retired in 2009 after 38 years of military service. He lives in Dublin.
Peterborough-area veterans in attendance included World War II veterans like Joseph Brennan, who served as a Marine, and Donald Carle, who served in the Army, all the way through to active servicemen like Army Pfc. Jonathan Clark of Peterborough, who has been serving for a year and half and is currently stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C.
American Legion Cheney-Armstrong Post 5 started the observance with a church service held at All Saints' Episcopal Church on Concord Street.
The veterans, the Monadnock Sea Cadets Squadron, South Meadow School band and Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts then marched in a parade from Veterans Way, up Main Street then onto Grove Street to the Memorial Gates for the 11:11 a.m. ceremony.