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Dartmouth celebrates opening of Veterans Memorial Grove
The Standard Times - 11/3/2018
Nov. 03--DARTMOUTH -- They made it official Saturday morning: The Dartmouth Veterans Grove is now fully commissioned, a gazebo with granite benches ready for visitors and easily disable accessible on the front lawn of the Dartmouth Senior Center.
Rain drove the ceremonies indoors in the senior center hall, which was full to capacity with veterans, their spouses and other relatives, and friends who wished to show some respect for those who served.
U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., was on hand to make brief remarks about how impressive it is that this "town wide effort" has come to fruition. He had two citations for the Dartmouth Veterans Advisory Board, which spearheaded the project. "The thoughtfulness of this is for all who served," Keating said.
While the weather moved the pageantry indoors, it did not deter those involved from working through all the speeches, benedictions, national anthem, rifle salute (outdoors) and congratulations and accolades to the advisory board and all who participated.
Joseph Michaud, former selectman, attorney and retired Army lieutenant colonel in full dress uniform took a few minutes to recognize service members in light of the fact that only about one-half of one percent of the population serve in the military amounting to 1.4 million active duty.
The event was chaired by Al Oliveira of the advisory board. Color guards representing the various services made a processional in the hall. Bruce Crompton played Amazing Grace on harmonica, and the names of the war dead that are engraved in the monument were read aloud. The buglers were from the high school band.
The rain tapered off enough during the proceedings that it became possible for those in attendance to explore the gazebo and look for commemorative bricks that many bought during the fund-raising.
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