The U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served for 11 deployments and has, for the last 21 years, taught Gloucester High School students about discipline and military-style training through the school's acclaimed JROTC program, will be the guest speaker Sunday when the city hosts its annual Veterans Day program.
Marine Gunner Richard R. Muth Jr., who has worked with the school's Marine Corps JROTC program since 1996 and served as its senior instructor since 1997, will be featured during a program that begins at 9 a.m. at the high school and continues with a parade to the Joan de Arc statue and Lester S. Wass American Legion Hall shortly before 11 a.m.
The program will then conclude with a luncheon honoring veterans and their families at the Legion hall, following the ceremonies. The luncheon, like the other events, is open to the public and is aimed at saluting all of those who have served in our armed forces.
The program is one of several Veterans Day events being held across Cape Ann, with the timing designed to coincide with the signing of the armistice that officially ended World War I at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 — the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918.
Here is a rundown of Veterans Day events planned for Gloucester and Cape Ann's three towns:
While Muth may be best known locally for his work with the high school's JROTC program, he's also a decorated veteran, piling up two Meritorious Service medals, two Navy Commendation medals, a Navy Achievement medal, Combat Action ribbon, two Navy Unit commendations, three Meritorious Unit commendations and more during a 22-year military career.
He served in all three Marine Corps divisions, with the 1st and 3rd Battalions 2nd Marine Regiment, 1st and 2nd Battalions 4th Marine Regiment, 1st and 3rd Battalions 5th Marine Regiment and 1st Battalion 8th Marine Regiment, as well as Headquarters 9th Marine Regiment.
He also acted as the assistant non-commissioned officer in charge at Marine security guard detachments in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Manila, Philippines, where he served on the security detail for then Secretary of State Edmond Muskie during his travels to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Muth said his address Sunday will focus not in his own career, but on Veterans Day in general and on Gloucester's heritage when it comes to military service.
"It's not about me, it's about veterans and Veterans Day," Muth said. "I want to get into the history of it when it comes to this city, I want to go back to Bunker Hill, and I want to get into the (local) names."
The event at the high school will also include remarks from Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, along with music from the GHS Docksiders and the elementary school Gleeful Eagles.
As is tradition, Rockport will celebrate the 243rd anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The annual event, hosted by LCpl. Mark Schmink, a lieutenant on town's police force, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Rockport Inn & Suites, 183 Main St. It is open to all local veterans.
Hors d'oeuvres will be served from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner.
Ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. with Capt. Joseph N. Muzio reading the Marine Corps General Orders. LCpl. Adam Curcuru, the veterans agent for Cape Ann, will follow with a reading of the USMC Commandant's 2018 Birthday Message. Afterwards, Gail Zeman will deliver remarks.
The traditional Marine Corps cake-cutting ceremony will also be held. The oldest and youngest Marines at the event will cut a cake using an USMC officer sword. The event concludes with a recital of the Marine Corps Hymn.
On Veterans Day itself, a service will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at the American Legion Hall, 32 Beach St. Ltc. Kevin Love, administrative manager of the Red Sox Foundation's Home Base Program, will be the guest speaker.
Local veterans will read "Veterans: Heroes in the Neighborhood" to Memorial Elementary School students on Friday morning.
A Veterans Day ceremony will then be held on Sunday, at 11 a.m., at the American Legion, 4 Church St.
Girl and Boy Scouts will bring tattered and otherwise un-flyable flags for a burning ceremony. The service will also commemorate POW and MIA soldiers, and there will be readings from members of Post 113 Auxiliary and several officers.