American veterans, town officials, scout troops, and families filled the Danvers Senior Center on Veterans Day to pay tribute to those who have fought for and protected our country, past and present.
Led by Adjutant Bruce P. Eaton, the service payed tribute to the current 385,000 veterans living in Massachusetts, and respectfully honored all veterans since 1775. Eaton noted the uniqueness of the day, "11/11/11." The program included an invocation and benediction from Rev. John Mulvihill of First Baptist Church, a reading of the governor's Veterans Day proclamation by U.S. Marine Vet Leonard Sherry, and a word from guest speaker, currently on active duty in the Air Force, Major Peter Dugas.
Dugas, a DHS, and later Norwich University grad, spoke of his experiences in the air force when stationed overseas in areas including Japan, Iraq, Kuwait and and Kosovo. Dugas reminded the audience to be thankful to not only those who have served, but also the families of veterans. "They are the true heroes," he said.
Dugas' father was the keynote speaker at last year's service. Dugas, referencing his days in Danvers in the tan boy scouts uniform said, "Who would've thought after 19 years away from Danvers I'd be back to share these stories."
Performances by the Danvers High School Chamber Singers and the Girl Scout troops of Danvers included the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and You're A Grand Old Flag.
Boy Scout Troop 58 presented the VFW with flag grommets after detailing the troops' traditional retired flag burning process.
After the service the Republican Town and City Committee of the North Shore donated 272 pairs of socks to Operation Troop Support, based in Danvers. The program was initiated by the Second Essex District Republican SC, Nancy Luther of Topsfield, after learning that white crew cut socks were the most requested item by troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The drive started in late September.