Monuments honoring veterans dedicated in Southampton
Historian Richard Frary, Select Board member Jacqueline Sears, and Lt. Col. Kenneth Fedora take part in a prayer during Southampton Veterans Day service Sunday. Fran Ryan Purchase photo reprints »
SOUTHAMPTON — Veterans Day ceremonies here this year will have an impact on the solemn holiday’s observances for years to come. Residents gathered around 2 p.m. to dedicate the town’s new war memorial.
Selectman Edward Cauley Edward said putting the monuments up was “way overdue.”
The new memorial in front of the Town Hall features two monuments bearing plaques with the names of townspeople who served in more than a half dozen wars. “These monuments give the town a more community atmosphere by honoring all of the soldiers from Southampton,” Cauley said.
Historian Richard Frary was instrumental in getting the monuments erected.
“It had always bugged me that we had a Civil War monument but nothing on the Revolutionary War or those that served in all of these wars,” Frary said. “The hard part was getting all of the names of all of the people.”
After securing $18,000, Frary was able to have the monuments made and erected.
At the dedication, Frary was given a certificate of recognition from the Select Board for his work on the monuments.
“By dedicating these monuments today, these names will forever be etched in our hearts and minds,” said Selectwoman Jacqueline Sears as she read the dedication for the monuments.
Two Southampton natives spoke of their relatives who had fought in wars from the Revolution to the Civil War.
Barry Searle read a graphic letter from the battlefield penned by a distant relative who served in the 37th infantry during Civil War. Alan Torrey read a historical account from the Revolutionary War, in which his fifth great-grandfather Calvin Torrey fought.
Another speaker was Southampton native Lt. Col. Kenneth Fedora, a pilot with the 104th Fighter Wing, who presented the town with an American flag he said accompanied him when he flew over the Arabian Gulf. It will be kept safe at the Town Hall.
The ceremony was punctuated with the sound of musket and cannon fire from two groups of re-enactors. Leo Tucker of Pomfret, Vt., brought Capt. Issac Craig’s Company of Continental Marines down with their authentic 1763 German-made brass cannon. The 25th Massachusetts Continental Regiment of 18th century re-enactors was also on hand under the command of Southampton resident Maj. Gen. David H. Bernier.
“This was very nice. It was a fantastic and historic ceremony,” said Robert Kozub.