With Veterans Day this weekend marking the 50-year anniversary of the first U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, Gloucester and two Cape Ann towns have planned special events Sunday to honor Vietnam veterans and the veterans of each war before and since Vietnam.
Lucia Amero of the Gloucester’s Veterans’ Services office on Emerson Avenue said Thursday that a special slideshow at Gloucester’s ceremony, which begins Sunday at 9 a.m. at the high school, will feature information and photos of the Vietnam War, while the annual parade will especially honor Vietnam vets.
“We encourage veterans to come to march in the parade and we would like to see our Vietnam veterans come, since this is dedicated more or less to them,” Amero said. “And also the veterans of the global war on terror, we’d like to see them out there, too.”
All veterans are welcome to meet at the high school’s Benjamin Smith Field House at the start of the 9 a.m. ceremony to participate in the parade, Amero said. Participation requires no prior registration or notification. The entire day’s events are free and open to the public, she emphasized.
The ceremony at 9 a.m. will include principal speaker Jerris David Cook, a U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran, along with a GHS ROTC drill team demonstration, a moment of silence, and patriotic music.
At the close of the ceremony, veterans will march in a parade formation to the American Legion. There, the final section of the ceremony begins at 11 a.m., and includes the laying of wreaths by Mayor Carolyn Kirk, and volley and taps, followed by a lunch at the American Legion Hall.
“It would be great to have all the veterans in the community,” Amero said.
Two of Cape Ann’s towns will also host events honoring their veterans, as well.
Rockport will commemorate and honor veterans, gone and living, with a ceremony that includes speaker Major Kevin Love of the US Army Active Reserve forces, a firing squad, prayers and hymns, beginning at 10 a.m. at Legion Post 98 in Rockport.
And Manchester will host its annual ceremony and luncheon, asking veterans and community members to gather at 10:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. ceremony, followed by lunch at the Legion Hall. The lunch is free, but Legion members ask those attending to bring a pair of new socks or a new sweatshirt to be donated to Operation Troop Support for those currently serving in the military.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.