Video and Image Gallery: North Andover Thanks Veterans During Annual Parade
The community gathered for a parade to honor the men and women who have served for our country.
Community members gathered on a sunny fall day for the annual Veterans Day Parade. The parade got underway at 10:15 a.m. on the corner of First and Main streets.
Marching in the parade were Veterans if Foreign Wars and American Legion veterans, Clan MacPherson bagpipers, the North Andover High School Marching Band, the North Andover Police and VFW Color Guards, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies.
The parade made its way down Main Street to Patriots Memorial Park where a commemorative ceremony was held.
Chairman of the North Andover Patriotic Observance Committee, Chief Edward V. Mitchell (U.S. Navy, retired), was scheduled to lead the ceremony, but was unable to attend due to illness.
Speakers included the head of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps in Methuen, Lt. Commander Barbara LaVoie, Sea Cadets who shared stories of their time spent in the cadet corps, Father John Delaney, Michael Wilson of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Gayle C. Heney, the Poet Laureate of North Andover.
"Poetry gives us a way to speak what is in our hearts and in our minds when experiencing sacrafice and sorrow, as well as sharing images of courage, Heney said. "It also gives us voice to who and what we honor here today."
Heney wrote an original poem, "Memorial," that she was inspired to create after a visit to the Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The closing exert of the poem reads, "fingers tracing names in simmering summer sun burn at the touch, feeling those who remain with physical pain, revealed as those of the heart."
In addition, in order to recognize an officer who has a family member serving in our armed forces, the Blue Star Service Banner was awarded to officer Daniel Quinlan of the North Andover Police Department in honor of Daniel's son, Michael, who will be stationed in Afghanistan shortly.
After the ceremony, the parade marched down to the VFW on Park Street where the flag was raised in order to salute all the departed Veterans.