Manchester honors its fallen on Memorial Day
By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader | May 27. 2014 1:34AM
Sgt. Maj. Larry Houghton, of Manchester, hugs his great-granddaughter, Briella Houghton, of Hooksett, before the start of the Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at Veterans Park in Manchester on Monday. Houghton was the grand marshal for the parade held earlier on Monday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
It was a day of thanks and remembrance during the annual parade down Elm Street to Veterans Memorial Park. Marching bands belted out patriotic songs and veterans groups marched proudly behind the American flag.
For other spectators, the mood was much more somber. Retired Army Maj. James H. O’Rourke stood near the corner of Elm and Merrimack streets and recalled fallen comrades from his tours in Korea and Vietnam.
State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve, said the turnout for the parade was the best he’s seen in years. After the parade, hundreds of spectators made their way to Veterans Park for the annual wreath-laying ceremony. Veterans were joined by Mayor Ted Gatsas, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, who made brief statements thanking all who served in the U.S. military.