Veterans honored during ceremonies in Peterborough
19-year-old Marine Matt Guinard of Peterborough and 88-year-old World War II Army veteran Allen Davis of Peterborough salute during Memorial Day observances in Peterborough Monday morning. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)
PETERBOROUGH — The American Legion Cheney-Armstrong Post No. 5 honored veterans at a Memorial Day observance on Grove Street Monday morning.
Monadnock region veterans marched down Main Street before gathering at the town war memorial, the Memorial Gates on Grove Street.
Vietnam War Navy veteran Alex Bass of Peterborough was honored as the parade marshal.
“Most of us remember where we were in 1963 when John F. Kennedy was shot. The day after the assassination, Alex, having just graduated from Dartmouth, joined the Navy and enrolled in Officer Candidate School,” said Peterborough Select Board Chairwoman Barbara Miller.
In 1966, Bass volunteered for duty as a swift boat skipper in Vietnam and after training was assigned to a south Vietnamese base on a small river at the northern edge of the Mekong Delta where it was his job to prevent enemy arms, ammunition and manpower movement by water.
On New Year’s Eve in 1967, he and his crew engaged and sunk an 80-foot armor-plated north Vietnamese trawler, while receiving heavy rifle fire from the beach. Most of his crew was injured in the fight, but none seriously, Miller said.
World War II veteran Henry Emery of West Peterborough was also honored by the post Monday, as the 2014 recipient of the American Legion Cheney-Armstrong Post #5 Cane.
At the age of 17, Emery enlisted into the Army Air Corps toward the end of World War II and spent 14 months on the Alaskan island of Amchitka that is among the Aleutians in the Bering Sea.
He was a communication specialist, where his job was to radio the planes as they flew over, looking for any sign of the Japanese attempting to advance.
Post commander Wayne Thomas said Emery was receiving the 2014 Cane, not just for his service in World War II, but also for his service to fellow veterans, particularly the ones who need rides to the VA or hospital, Thomas said.
“He hand delivers the Post newsletters and take time to visit shut-ins or veterans in nursing homes with his wife, Alice, and oftentimes they are invited in to have coffee. He does this tirelessly with a smiling face and a kind word,” Thomas said.
The observance concluded with a key address from Army Captain Travis Andrade. He currently lives and works in Massachusetts, but grew up in New Hampshire and is the son of Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner.
He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and again in 2009.
In 2010, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant, and was recently promoted to Captain.
Andrade said World War II veterans are often venerated and raised up as the Greatest Generation, but he urged attendees to venerate all generations of veterans.
“We all share the same desire to defend our country and to make the world a safer place,” he said.
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