Franklin Countys First News

Chesterville celebrates Veterans Day

The proceedings began with the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” capably read by three Chesterville youth, siblings Mason, Tory, and Phoebe Wills.

Chesterville - Over 60 area residents gathered on Veterans Day at the Chesterville Center Union Meeting House to honor Chesterville veterans and observe the World War I origins of the holiday. Attendees were all masked and observing distancing recommendations at the unseasonably warm outdoor event.

The proceedings began with the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” capably read by three Chesterville youth, siblings Mason, Tory, and Phoebe Wills. Bob Cox - veteran, former Sheriff, and long-time Chesterville resident - led the Pledge of Allegiance for the gathering.

Long-time Chesterville resident Kitty Gee was featured as speaker and as the ringer of the Meeting House bell, which tolled eleven times in recognition of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, when the armistice ending World War I was proclaimed.

Mrs. Gee was chosen to lead the ceremony in memory of her late husband, John Gee, who was a frogman in World War II and instrumental in the Utah Beach action in Normandy, France. Gee survived that experience to live a long and civically active life in Chesterville, but passed away in 2014 from causes related to his military service.

Mrs. Gee’s presentation reviewed the history of Armistice Day and paid tribute to all veterans of military service. Following Mrs. Gee’s remarks, Chesterville resident Jim Grippe shared memories of John Gee and his service.

Residents lingered after the ceremony to study the war memorial containing town veterans’ names, situated across the road from the Meeting House, both located at the corner of Zions Hill Road and the Borough Road in the center of Chesterville.

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