ORLEANS — “Thank a veteran” has been a byword for many years. “Ask a veteran” is another step those who served wish people would consider.
“Talk to a veteran sometime over coffee,” Selectmen Chair Jon Fuller, a retired senior chief petty officer, told his listeners at Veterans Square Saturday during the town's commemoration of Veterans Day. “Let them tell you of their experience.”
In biting cold, the crowd listened to the heartfelt recollections of David Farquhar of Orleans. As a lad in England, he suffered through the bombardment of Weymouth and cheered the arrival of American troops preparing to win back France from the Nazis. “Americans looked quite different,” Farquhar said. “They had big grins, they were tanned, and most seemed to wear dark glasses. We were uplifted and gratified for their help.” In 1944, half a million of those soldiers would make the 125-mile crossing to France on D-Day and afterward.
The troops were warriors and peacemakers, a point underscored by retired Brigadier General Jimmy Dishner of Orleans: “One thing we want to take away today...Give peace a chance. Give peace a chance.”