NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 13, 2012

Port remembers veterans

War of 1812's bicentennial is focus of speech

Buoyed by weather more likely to be found in May or June, hundreds of people gathered yesterday morning outside City Hall to take part in Newburyport’s annual Veterans Day celebration.

The gathering outside City Hall began after a short parade that stepped off on Pond Street then made its way down High Street and Green Street until turning left onto Pleasant Street.

After Mayor Donna Holaday read the names of local veterans who died between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Veterans Agent Kevin Hunt addressed the crowd.

Hunt’s speech centered on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Hunt said most of the people living in Newburyport at the time would have been members of the Federalist party, which had been against the idea of starting another war with the British. Hundreds of residents went as far as to sign a petition, which was then sent to Washington, D.C.

Hunt said the town was already reeling from the Embargo Act of 1807 that forbade commerce with Great Britain and France, and its residents saw another conflict with Great Britain as even more harmful.

“It basically killed the shipping industry in Newburyport,” Hunt said of the Embargo Act.

Hunt went on to discuss the origin of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which came from a poem written by Francis Scott Key while watching bombs bursting in air over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. He concluded his remarks with a few words regarding what this country’s veterans have sacrificed in order to protect its borders and defend its interests overseas.

“They wrote a blank check, payable with their lives. Veterans don’t start wars, they end them,” Hunt said.

Following the celebration outside City Hall, the parade continued down Green Street, into Market Square, up State Street and finishing at Veterans Cemetery at the base of Pond Street.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Special Features