Something to think about
I often envy our news contributor Phil Di Vece covering events Woolwich holds indoors that Wiscasset or Wiscasset groups hold outdoors. The weather is often poor, like the frigid, windy morning this past Veterans Day for American Legion Post 54’s observance at the veterans wall of names of locals who have served in centuries of wars. It is the ideal place: It helps honor those on the wall and allows for the wreath-laying and gun salute and for the flags to wave and motorists to peep in support of the gathering.
But when the events get poor early morning weather, considering our high senior population, including some of the veterans who take part or attend and their spouses, or late veterans’ loved ones, what if the wreath-laying, gun salute and prayer took place at the wall, and then the speeches, any certificate presentations and the music followed at the hall? The post regularly follows its services at the wall with refreshments for all, back at the hall, so this would be a way to get people out of the cold and wind sooner.
It might aid attendance, and get more people to see the hall the post has worked so hard to improve and that makes a nice setting for a reverent ceremony.
At the most recent service, Post Cmdr. William Cossette Jr. held Wally Staples’ speech in place due to the strong wind and later even offered to skip his speech from the national Legion. No one took him up on it. That showing of resilience and reverence from attendees gives me pause in proposing this. But Woolwich's ceremony held in the Nequasset Meeting House was no less reverent to veterans, America and freedom, and when I looked at the photos showing some participants had on short sleeves and none showing people bundled up, I wondered, are there people who go to Woolwich’s who would not be able to if it was held outside and the weather was raw or frigid?
It's just a thought. And as much as I dislike the cold, I would stand at the wall every day if there was a service to cover. What's 40 minutes in the wind on the lawn next to Route 1? Nothing, compared to what soldiers endure. But indoors might get more people, and the more, the better, to remember their service.