To the editor:

The American Legion Post No. 98 commemorated a perfect Veterans Day morning — alfresco style — at its Back Beach Bandstand location overlooking Sandy Bay. Sunny blue skies were ribboned with layers of white clouds. Our Rockport Post No. 98, founded in 1919, began the celebration with the Legion Band’s “Salute to the Armed Forces,” always a stirring favorite, with Bob Rick conducting. The band also provided other patriotic and devotional pieces. Earl Kishida was the event’s announcer. Prayers of the day were offered by Pastor Matthew Wigton of the First Baptist Church. Philip A. Crotty, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was the featured speaker. He alluded to generals John Pershing and Colin Powell. The Salute to the Dead of All Wars and the Firing Squad provided a somber conclusion to the very special day.

Heartfelt conversations then quickly flowed as reflections and reminiscences by attendees were encouraged inside the history-laden Legion building. Rockport summer artist Evelyn Longley’s charcoal sketches of distinguished veterans of various wars grace the staging area. Many other fascinations and treasures greeted visitors, as well. Larry Story orchestrated accompaniments including breakfast fare compliments of Brothers Brew, hot coffee, and miniature American flags as souvenirs.

Another memorable Veterans Day has passed. The town of Rockport’s collective thanks and gratitude were proudly on display for all the men and women, past and present, who have helped to safeguard our democracy and freedoms. How truly fortunate and blessed we all are for their sacrifices and service. Thank you!

Betty and John Erkkila


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