Veterans Honored Throughout Hamptons

Veterans Day 2001

By Steve Jusseaume,

Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 13, 2001

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Click here for a larger photo.
Color Guard Cadet Sgt. Logan Kenney, far right, and other members of the Winnacunnet High School Junior ROTC stand guard during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Hampton Beach Marine Memorial on Monday morning, November 12, 2001.
[Photo by Emily Reily/]

Veterans Day 2001 was celebrated by several hundred Seacoast residents yesterday, at venues including the Marine Memorial at Hampton Beach, Weare Common in Hampton Falls, the common in front of the former North Hampton Library and the High Street Cemetery in Hampton.

Fred Rice of Hampton led the services at each location, noting the difference between Memorial Day, which is meant to honor those who died in service to the country, and Veterans Day, which is reserved for "all those who served, in all wars, and at any time."

At a blustery Hampton Beach oceanfront at 9 a.m., the Rev. Garrett Lear of the New Testament Church of North Hampton opened the service with the invocation, followed by the singing of the national anthem by Eden and Malia Lear, Garrett's daughters.

Click here for a larger photo.
Hampton veterans, from right to left: Jere Lonergan,
Ansell Palmer and Norm McNerney, listen to the
playing of taps.

[Photo by Emily Reily/]

Following a similar service in Hampton Falls at 10 a.m., the group drove to North Hampton, where, as part of the ceremonies, students from North Hampton Elementary sang "America the Beautiful." Eventually the ceremonies reached the circa-1858 High Street Cemetery in Hampton, at 11 a.m.

Lt. John MacInnes laid wreaths in each town, including at the foot of the Hampton Veteran's Memorial at the High Street Cemetery. Portsmouth resident Chris Elliott played taps. The Winnacunnet High School Junior ROTC color guard accompanied the assemblage at all four sites.

The guest speaker at all venues was Michael McCarthy, a Vietnam veteran and Air Force pilot. McCarthy spoke of the veterans who have served the country. He recalled two veterans in particular whom he knew personally, a professional soldier and a citizen/soldier.

"Jack was a professional soldier. At age 32 he was a full colonel. In 1944, he found himself in Germany, where he was severely wounded," McCarthy recalled.

"Jack remained very compassionate despite being blinded by his wounds ... He was willing to share his experiences and was not bitter about what happened to him."

Earl, a "citizen/soldier," also provided McCarthy with a model for his own life. "I met Earl in 1960. He had been drafted at age 32 and was shipped overseas in 1942," McCarthy said, recalling Earl's participation in all the big battles in the European theater, including Omaha Beach on D-Day.

"I remember watching the opening scene of the film "Saving Private Ryan" and it was exactly like Earl described it to me ... I reconnected with Earl in 1991. To see a man drafted out of the citizenry, and who served bravely, to come home with such a positive attitude. I can see why that group of men and women have been called the greatest generation," McCarthy said.