Memorial Day Activities

Memorial Day Activities

I hope everyone had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  This year, I was honored to speak at the Watertown Memorial Day ceremony, which immediately followed the town’s parade.  Our good friends at the Pvt. Charles Schutt Detachment of the Marine Corps League thought of me I am very grateful to them for doing so.

As everyone knows, this year’s Memorial Day was especially meaningful because of the Boston Marathon bombing — Watertown was the center of the final shootout with the second bomber.  The entire police department led the parade and got huge ovations the entire route, and it was pretty cool to see.  Many of those men and women have served or continue to serve in the military, so it’s fully appropriate that we remember their fallen ranks today too.

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My speech was really brief:

“Memorial Day is a day that requires few words, so I will be brief. Today, we recognize our fallen brothers and sisters in arms, and we give thanks for their service to our country. As long as there have been dictators or terrorists willing to threaten freedom, there have been brave men and women willing to bear arms to defeat them. The memory of those who gave all cannot and must not be forgotten. We honor them today and it is good that we do so.


“Just last month, Watertown was the center of our country’s fight against terrorism. Those events teach us that just as the generations before us, there will always be a need for brave men and women to step forward and bear the burden of defending freedom. Many of the police officers, first responders and firefighters who defended this community against the bombers are themselves veterans who had previously served in the military, or who continue to serve in the reserve forces. Let us recognize them not only for their service to our country, but for their continued service to their community.


“The United States is a beacon for freedom, democracy and individual liberties.  These gifts we enjoy were not without cost – they were not free.  They were purchased for us by tens of thousands of our fellow citizens:  our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, family, friends and neighbors who willingly looked tyranny and terror in the face and defeated it.  They did this for our sake, so that we might continue to enjoy those freedoms that our great country stands for.  Let us never forget them nor their sacrifice.”

Now to the activities of our Sea Cadet units!

One of our Region 1-1 units, Massachusetts Bay Division, marched in the parade.  I hadn’t seen any of the cadets since I handed over command in March, so it was really great to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones.

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Elsewhere in our region, Squadron 7-Zulu was represented in three different parades — their senior Chief Petty Officer, Sean Hauter, gave a great speech in his hometown of Hull …


… while Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Keyes participated in Marshfield’s parade …


… and the rest of the unit marched in Quincy’s parade.


Having marched in parades for years when I was the CO, it always made me smile when people along the streets have no idea that we’re Sea Cadets and shout “GO NAVY”, or “thanks for your service!” to our cadets.  I’m perfectly happy with the people making this “mistake”, since our Naval Sea Cadets really do wear the uniform of their country.  If you look at these pictures there is almost no way you would think they WEREN’T Navy sailors.  Many of them could certainly do the job right now.

Until next time…

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