Despite the wet weather, Hanson honors vets at Tri-Town Parade
On the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps and the day before 97th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I, Hanson held its annual Veterans Day Breakfast at the town’s Multi-Service Senior Center on Tuesday, Nov.10.
The center, like town offices, other government buildings, libraries and schools were closed Wednesday, Nov. 11.
The Tri-Town Veterans Day Parade — Whitman, Abington and Rockland — slated to step off at 8:45 a.m., Wednesday stepped off on schedule in spite of high wind and rain, even as parades in Brockton and Weymouth were cancelled due to the inclement weather.
In Hanson, Veterans’ Agent Bob Arsenault welcomed veterans, their spouses and invited guests, selectmen Don Howard and Bill Scott, Sons of the American Legion Commander — and past Post Commander — Sam Hammond as well as past selectman and retired Army Brig. Gen. August Silva during his remarks following a hearty breakfast prepared by Marine veteran Arthur Leonas, his wife Joan assisted by Assessor Lee Gamarche.
“I’d like to recognize the spouses that are here,” Arsenault said. “Many times during war time, when the forces are deployed, it’s the spouses that are home taking care of the kids, taking care of the bills, making sure things run smoothly.”
One of those spouses, Norma Billings, brought a photo (circa 1944) of her late Navy veteran husband Dana to the breakfast, propping the picture before her place at the table. She also wore a sailor’s “Dixie cup” hat while dining before performing with the Swinging Singers chorus.
Arsenault read a Veterans Day Proclamation from Gov. Charlie Baker, presented new American and POW/MIA flags to Senior Center Director Mary Collins and presented certificates of appreciation to each veteran attending. Those veterans were:
Air Force — Donald F. Howard, Joseph Marsden, Bill O’Brien, Carl Patterelli, Sylvia Salas, Peter Travelini and Bill Ward.
Army — Lee Baker, Johnny Barboza, Sam Hammond, Dave King, Paul Leta, Charles Marsh, Hugh Monahan, Jim Pearson, August Silva, Al Supple, Robert White, Dody Whooten and John Woefel. Coast Guard — Charles Conant and Joe Norton.
Marine Corps — Arthur Leonas.
National Guard — Frank Turner.
Navy — George Copeland and Anthony Eosue.
The Swinging Singers performed a medley of patriotic songs including the five service anthems and closing with “God Bless America,” which chorus member and National Guard veteran Frank Turner called one of the three “most meaningful songs we have glorifying this country.” The other two are the national anthem and “Let There be Peace on Earth.”
The chorus performed “God Bless America” following a moment of silence in memory of all veterans and loved ones who have died this year.
“This song, to me exemplifies the true meaning of America,” Turner said, noting its composer Irving Berlin was a Jewish immigrant who came to the United States seeking a better life. “This states what the true meaning of America is and how blessed and thankful we are to live in this country.”