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N.H. honors its veterans

New Hampshire celebrated Veterans Day with ceremonies across the state.

In Portsmouth, a crowd and the high school marching band gathered at Goodwin Park at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument.

U.S. Jeanne Shaheen called it a fitting place for the observance.

With America divided, she noted the park was created to honor those who served in the Civil War to keep the country together.

"When we think about the divisions of the country it's good to remember that we've had divisions before," Shaheen said, "and we've stayed together because we are one nation, and one of the reasons that we are one nation is because we've had men and women who have served for centuries to ensure that we could remain free, that we can enjoy living in this great country."

Frank Palomino, a U.S. Army veteran from California who served in Iraq, was among those at the ceremony in Portsmouth. He says this holiday is about respect for veterans, and their families.

"It's an acknowledgement that you love your country 100 percent and you're going to go defend that freedom ... to have freedom for everyone else who lives in your country," he said.

Josh Denton, commander of the VFW Post 168 in Portsmouth, called it a holiday to celebrate veterans and to appreciate their service — and to recognize their families and support from businesses and local, state and federal governments.

"Like many veterans here," he said, "I struggled for years to figure out what do I say when someone says 'thank you for your service.' Well, to everyone who actually puts their money where their mouth is, thank you for your support."

In Hampton, Buck Frost, a Coast Guard veteran who serves in the Hampton Fire Department, spoke of the commitments men and women have made to military service in defense of the nation. "This is the land of the free because of the brave," he said.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, New Hampshire is home to over 113,000 veterans.

Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.
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