Veterans Honored in Ceremonies Across Cape Cod

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Brewster State Representative and U.S. Marine veteran Tim Whelan speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Yarmouth

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Brewster State Representative and U.S. Marine veteran Tim Whelan speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Yarmouth

HYANNIS – Veterans Day ceremonies across Cape Cod on Friday remembered and honored the men and women who have served in the U.S. military with ceremonies and words of remembrance.

A parade was held in Hyannis that ended on the Village Green with a speeches from veterans and local elected officials.

“We honor and pay tribute to the brave men and women that have valiantly served and continue to serve our great country,” said Barnstable Town Council President Jessica Rapp-Grassetti.

A common theme was that soldiers are responsible for the all freedoms Americans cherish.

“We hold our highest honor and deepest respect for those veterans and their families that have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Rapp-Grassetti said.

Air Force Captain Daniel Spiker told the crowd that members of the military are always ready to serve.

“Throughout history, we all share a common trait. Selflessness, dedication to duty, commitment to others and a willingness to sacrifice,” he said.

“Whether active duty, retired, National Guard or reserve, is someone who at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to an including his or her life,” said Spiker.

In Dennis the 4th Annual Field of Honor included a display of more than 300 flags at the Johnny A. Kelley Recreation Area.

At the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, interpretative art by middle school students honoring veterans is on display through Tuesday.

Other events were held in Barnstable Village, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Eastham and Orleans.

A free breakfast for veterans was served in Falmouth at the Coonamessett Inn, where 9th District Congressman William Keating was expected to speak.

The Yarmouth community came together to honor those who served the country during a Veterans Day ceremony at Packet Landing Park.

State Representative Tim Whelan was the keynote speaker of the event, which also included a musical selection by students from Dennis-Yarmouth High School and the pledge of allegiance by Boy and Girl Scouts.

Whelan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and was a State Police Trooper, said that Veterans Day holds a special place in his heart.

“Veterans Day gives us an opportunity to remember and thank those who came home and those who have worn the uniform of our nation in peacetime and in war and to thank them for their service,” said Whelan.

A number of veterans from the community attended the ceremony and were honored with roses and pictures from the Boy and Girl Scouts.

“I have a solemn responsibility to do everything I can to help our veterans and make sure that they assimilate when they get home from service overseas and to provide them the support services and the network they need to succeed,” said Whelan. “We owe that to our veterans and more.”

The roots of Veterans Day trace to the end of World War I, known as “The Great War.”

While the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war was signed on June 28, 1919, fighting actually stopped seven months earlier on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

According to military.com, Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle.

Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.

By MATT PITTA, MATT MCCARTHY and JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

Material from VA.gov and military.com was used in this report

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