The annual Veterans Day parade in Oak Bluffs honored those who served in the armed forces, and drew a number of onlookers on an unseasonably warm fall day.
Veterans, law enforcement officers, family, and friends arrived early at Nancy’s Restaurant to chat, tell stories, and enjoy the fresh air.
At 10:45 am, parade chair and U.S. Navy veteran Peter Herrmann called the honor guard to stand at attention, then began to march in time as Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee played ceremonial marches on his bagpipes.
The parade proceeded past Giordano’s and up to the rock monument in Ocean Park as family members and friends cheered in admiration.
At the monument, Herrmann thanked the brave veterans who fought for America’s freedom. He described for the crowd the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, saying that Veterans Day honors living veterans, and Memorial Day is held in remembrance of those who made “the ultimate sacrifice.”
He also said that Oak Bluffs and the Island community should feel proud of being recognized by the Veterans Day National Committee as the only regional site in Massachusetts.
“Oak Bluffs is being recognized for the ninth year in a row, mainly because of former veterans agent Jo Ann Murphy,” Hermann said.
State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, also thanked all the veterans for their service, and spoke on the importance of supporting our active-duty and former servicemembers.
Fernandes also announced recently passed legislation that will expand post-traumatic stress disorder treatment services in Massachusetts for veterans. “This is for the veterans who come home with the unseen wounds of war,” Fernandes said. “Massachusetts is the leader in the nation in veterans services, and we will continue that leadership.”
After the speeches, Marine veteran Buddy Wyatt and Navy veteran Tom Norbury placed a wreath at the base of the monument, and a Menemsha Coast Guard rifle company offered a three-volley salute for U.S. veterans.