Hampton Union, Friday, June 4, 2010
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
It was heartening to see all of the people who attended Memorial Day observations and parades in the Hamptons and Seabrook last weekend.
Clearly, some came to take enjoyment from the bands and floats and marchers in the parades. But many, if not most, also came to mark the solemnity of the day; to remember all the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our country.
In past years, in some communities, attendance at Memorial Day observations had dwindled to a few older men and women walking from city and town halls to cemeteries where the American flags on the graves outnumbered the people in attendance.
Not so this past weekend.
Ralph Fatello, commander of American Legion Post 35, noted record crowds at Hampton Beach, Hampton Falls, North Hampton and Hampton.
In Seabrook, state Rep. Amy Perkins said the parade seemed bigger than usual and there appeared to be a greater number of spectators.
In Hampton and other stops on the Legion Post 35 tour, former Marine Corps Capt. Ed Johnson, this year's guest speaker, made similar observations.
"It's a Norman Rockwell type day," said Johnson, who founded the Pease Greeters. "It was just beautiful to see so many people."
We're not sure why people are embracing Memorial Day again, perhaps because of the ongoing fighting in Iraq and, more so these days, in Afghanistan. But we're proud and happy to see it happening.