Rain didn’t Stop Pelham from Honoring Those who Gave the Most

June 3, 2016


by Len Lathrop

The rain might have dampened the ground and their clothes, but the reverence and honor outshone the rain as the town gathered first at the Gionet Bridge on Main Street and then in the Gibson Cemetery on Memorial Day.

When the veterans of John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post 10722 and the American Legion Pelham, N.H., Post 100, join forces little can go wrong.  At the Gionet Bridge wreaths were placed on both ends of the bridge under the sign that honors Sgt. Daniel Gionet.  The first wreath was placed by Randall Sharpe who entered the military with Dan; at the other abutment was his sister, Alycia Gionet, who is active Navy stationed currently in Florida.  The petty officer is trained in helicopter maintenance; currently she is serving as a corrections officer for the Navy.  After a gun salute from the Legion Honor Guard, members of the Pelham High School performed “Taps.”  VFW Past State Commander 2014-2015 and Pelham Post Commander 2010-2014 and 2016, Mark McCabe thanked all in attendance and dismissed the troops.

At 11 a.m. the memorial service began at the Gibson Cemetery, where Rev. William Ferguson of the First Congregational Church of Pelham offered a greeting and a prayer, after which 8-year-old Siena Szarek sang “ The Star Spangled Banner.”  After recognizing the groups involved and the town leaders in attendance, the joint commander read a list of veterans who served their country.  Following the placing of a wreath by Boy Scout Michael Porter and Girl Scout Alicia Hamilton, the American Legion firing squad offered a gun salute, and the gentlemen from the high school band offered “Taps.”  American Legion Junior Vice-Commander Don Mitchell offered thanks and invited all in attendance to a wreath placing at Old Village Square Monument on Main Street and then to a BBQ at the legion post.