NASHUA — The community came together on Monday to celebrate and honor those who have served in the armed forces, while also remembering the men and women who are still overseas protecting American freedoms.
"This is a beautiful day to remember our veterans," Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said before the kickoff of Monday's Veterans Day parade in Nashua.
There are 131,000 veterans in New Hampshire, according to Lozeau, who said that is about 10 percent of the Granite State's population.
"That is quite remarkable," said Lozeau.
Local bands, cheerleaders, veterans, city officials and Boy and Girl Scouts joined in the Veterans Day parade, which stepped off at Holman Stadium and traveled onto Main Street where people of all ages gathered to watch and celebrate New Hampshire's veterans.
"This is really a day of reflection," said Kitty Tyler, who served stateside during the Vietnam era. "I watched our soldiers who were ridiculed, attacked and criticized when they returned home. Today, we can fully appreciate these people who are finally getting the honor they deserve."Lozeau agreed, telling the veterans in attendance that they are highly respected for all of their service and that Monday's parade was a celebration just for them.The New Hampshire Regiment of the Revolutionary War Re-enactors marched in the festivities on Monday, dressed in old military uniforms with long coattails.
"It is important to stop and pay our honors, and to reflect on the history of the Revolutionary War," said Craig Fogg of Portsmouth. "Most of us are veterans, although some of us are not. We are here to honor all of those who have served, and to educate others about the Revolutionary War and its significance in American history."
Several members of the Rising Sun Lodge #39 were present to represent the Masonic Bodies in New Hampshire.
Veterans Day is about remembering the countless sacrifices of so many people that have enabled America to live in freedom, said Steve Bahsler of Nashua, master of the group.
The importance of Veterans Day seems to be drifting away, according to Treff Sage of Nashua, who said soldiers and their families deserve to be honored for their service — whether it was last week or decades ago.
"Veterans Day, to me, is about showing respect and honoring memories," said Sage.firstname.lastname@example.org