Dick Gerrish of Kingston, N.H., came not because he’s a veteran, but because he had a promise to keep.
Gerrish brought with him a bottle of red wine from the 50th anniversary of D-Day. He was given three bottles of the wine by a family member and asked to pass them along to World War II survivors. Two bottles were successfully delivered, but Gerrish didn’t know a third D-Day veteran.
“I put the last bottle away in its commemorative box and almost forgot about it,” he said.
When he read about Piper speaking at The Eagle-Tribune, he knew exactly where he needed to be yesterday.
“It’s my honor to present this to you, Mr. Piper. Thank you for your service,” Gerrish said as he passed the bottle to Piper and the two men embraced.
North of Boston Media Group Regional Publisher Karen Andreas thanked the crowd for coming and invited comment, which led to a series of moving and at times even humorous tales of wartime experiences.
Piper said it was a pleasure to hear these people speak and also a relief because for too many years no one would talk about it.
“Veterans are certainly more interested in preserving their stories now than they used to be, as this book certainly shows,” he said. “We have an obligation to the younger generations to tell out stories. The war years were such an important era in history.”
To purchase a copy of “Salute to Veterans” visit www.eagletribune.com.