Ocean City Thanks Veterans for Service in Annual Program

first_imgA couple hundred people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park in Ocean City on Wednesday to honor the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.A crowd gathers at Veterans Memorial Park in Ocean City for Wednesday’s annual Veterans Day Program in Ocean City.“Never was so much owed by so many to so few,” Mayor Jay Gillian said, using a Winston Churchill quote to sum up the spirit of Ocean City’s annual Veterans Day program.Keynote speaker Joe Griffies, a Vietnam veteran and host of the WIBG-AM radio show “Welcome Home Veterans,” thanked many of the local veterans who have served, and he also thanked their families back home.“Nobody goes to war alone,” Griffies said.Among the many he singled out, Griffies recognized the service of Lt. Joseph Walters, an Ocean City resident who served in both the Army and the Marines. Walters was part of a Marine platoon that was asked on Sept. 11, 1968, to take the lead in crossing a rice paddy during a seven-day battle for a hill in Vietnam. Walters was shot in the knee, and all but one member of the platoon was killed or wounded.He noted the sacrifice of Michael Crescenz of Sea Isle City, an Army corporal who became the only Medal of Honor recipient from Cape May County. Crescenz died in battle in Vietnam.Griffies spoke of Mary Hoff, whose husband, Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hoff, went missing in action over Vietnam in 1970. She created the black POW-MIA flag that now flies by order of Congress over the Capitol, federal buildings and throughout the nation.Griffies and Gillian both remembered John Kemenosh, a Navy veteran and Ocean City resident who served his country and city until his death on Nov. 1 at age 89.The VFW and veterans thanks sixth-grader Julia Wilson for her service in singing at the annual Veterans Day programs.In a special presentation at the end of Wednesday’s program, VFW Commander Mike Morrissey presented Julia Mary Wilson with a special proclamation thanking her for what’s become a tradition at the annual ceremony — her singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” The sixth-grader delivers powerful and popular versions of both songs.Ocean City Primary School third-graders read essays thanking veterans for their service and displayed posters they created.Among the participants were:Mrs. Helphenstine’s ClassEssay: Travis BickleyPoster: Diana OlmedoMrs. Dunner’s ClassEssay: Alley AlvaPoster: Chloe CareMrs. Libro’s ClassEssay: Abril BautistaPoster: Mimi McCuskerMrs. Naplacic’s ClassEssay: Daphne BrozynaPoster: Isabella KennyMrs. Nugent’s ClassEssay: Sam RittiPoster: Sadie Tucker Vietnam Veteran Joe Griffies thanks fellow veterans and their families in a keynote address Wednesday in Ocean City.last_img read more