Sandwich event remembers past and present veterans
SANDWICH — About 200 turned out for the town's Memorial Day remembrance program Monday.
Organized by Police Chief Doug Wyman, the ceremony included comments from keynote speaker Charles "Chuck" Estano, Sr., taps played by Caitlin O'Hara, the National Anthem played by Sandwich Central School students, prayers led by the Rev. Dr. Marshall Davis of the Federated Church of Sandwich, and the laying of the wreath at the Honor Roll, where the American flag and the black and white M.I.A./P.O.W. flag few at half-staff.
The Rev. Davis asked the group to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
"We remember those who as we speak are serving overseas and willing to pay that same price," he said, asking God to hold service men and women in his arms, and protect them with his grace.
Wyman introduced keynote speaker Estano as coming from a family in South Boston of 12 brothers, eight of whom served in the military during World War II, Korea, and in Vietnam.
"At the time, there was only one other family in the U.S. with as many siblings serving at the same time," Wyman said. "Unbelievably, he and his brothers returned safely home from service."
Estano served in the Army Air Corps from 1943-1945 in the Pacific Theatre. After an honorable discharge, Estano spent three decades working in law enforcement. In his comments, Estano urged the public to thank veterans, living and deceased. He said his eldest brother, age 95, a veteran of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, is still alive and alert. An avid historian, Estano shared a framed collage of photographs of his brothers dressed in their military uniform, and one of his parents.
Earlier in the morning, veterans, active or retired, were treated to a pancake platter or made-to-order breakfast at the Sandwich Fair Craft building.
Wyman said on Memorial Day he remembers ancestors that have served in the military from as far back to the Revolutionary War to his brother, Capt. Kent Wyman, who served with the Army National Guard in Iraq.
Sandwich resident Lee Quimby, who for many years organized the town's Memorial Day ceremony, said, he too thinks about family. His father served during World War I and his brother served during World War II, his son served on the U.S.S. John Kennedy, and his grandson now serves with the Army in Afghanistan.
"I was unable to serve in the military, and in the past organizing this Memorial Day event was the least I could do," he said.