Once again, the City of Rye will carry on the tradition of honoring its deceased veterans on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Rye American Legion Post 128 and the Auxiliary will sponsor a parade, beginning at the Rye Train Station at 9:30 a.m. and proceeding along Purchase Street to the Village Green for ceremonies.
The public is invited to enjoy music, marchers, trucks, and cars. The Rye Historical Society will provide horses and riders. Antique cars will also travel the parade route.
At 10:30 a.m., Post Commander Fred de Barros will begin the formal ceremony on the Village Green. Mayor Joseph Sack will greet guests.
Keynote speaker Martin Dockery, a Rye resident, will share his experience and perspectives. In September 1962, when he landed in Saigon, he was a young, determined, idealistic U.S. Army first lieutenant convinced of America’s imminent victory in Vietnam. While most of the 12,000 U.S. military advisors in-country at the time filled support positions in Saigon and other major cities, Dockery was one of a handful of advisors assigned to Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) combat units.
For eight months, Dockery lived and fought in the heart of the Mekong Delta with an ARVN infantry battalion on missions and operations that often lasted several days. In his book, “Lost in Translation: Vietnam: A Combat Advisor’s Story”, he provides inescapable evidence that as early as 1962 the writing was on the wall concerning the outcome of the Vietnam War.
The annual Americanism Award will be presented to Tom Saunders, former Rye Post 128 Commander, and dedicated leader at SPRYE and Rye Rotary.
The ceremony features the traditional reading of the “Gettysburg Address” and the reading of the names of those from Rye who fought and perished in the wars of the 20th century. The John M. Kingery Memorial Day Essay Contest Awards will be presented to winning Rye High School students. The program will also include recognition of Rye Eagle Scouts.
Robin Latimer, president of the American Legion Auxiliary will sing the National Anthem and “God Bless America”.
Prior to the parade, members of the Rye Fire Department will conduct a brief ceremony and lay flowers at the monument in the circle at Milton Road and Grace Church Street at 8:15 a.m. The monument honors Rye firefighters who served their nation.