To the editor:

The Exchange Club of Greater Newburyport would like to thank all event participants, sponsors and flag purchasers for making our 10th annual Field of Honor such a success on Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Bartlet Mall.

U.S. Air Force veteran William Shuttleworth, who walked across America this summer to raise awareness of veterans issues, was eloquent in his keynote address. Veterans Affairs Officer Kevin Hunt, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, state Rep. James Kelcourse and Richie Eaton noted the importance of service to others. Major Todd Hughes of the Salvation Army book-ended the proceedings with an invocation and a benediction.

Adding a touch of class to the ceremony were the Merrimack Valley Concert Band and soloist Kathy Peavey through grants from the Newburyport Cultural Council and the Institution for Savings, and the U.S. Coast Guard color guard.

Financial sponsors for the event were Newburyport Bank, the Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation, the 1st Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund, Edmund and Patricia McGrath, Murphy Construction Company Inc., Ipswich Bay Glass, Blanchette Financial Group, Darling Consulting Group Inc., Daniel Healey, Nick’s Pizza, Frank LaBarba, Paul C. Rogers & Sons Funeral Homes, Odd Fellows of Newburyport, Timberline Enterprises LLC, Deb and Peter Zoltai, Kathleen Bailey, Essex Street Inn, Barbara and Andy Griffith, Haverhill Bank, Keiver-Willard Lumber Corp., Lombardi Oil, Jim and Sue Noyes, Mary and Fred Palen, Port Psychology, Starboard Galley, Strem Chemicals, Inc., Wall’s Ford and Watts Eye Associates.

In-kind sponsors supporting the effort were Abraham’s Bagels & Pizza, Dianne’s Fine Desserts, Domino’s Pizza, Dugan Supply, Dunkin’ Donuts at Storey Avenue, Immaculate Conception Church, Loretta, Bill and Gretchen O’Halloran, Panera Breads, Seaport Signworks, Shaw’s, Steve Swochak, P.A. Wilkinson Septic Systems and WJOP 96.3 FM.

The Newburyport Department of Public Works set up and later took down the ceremony stage, and the Newburyport Fire Department provided lighting for night viewing of the field of flags. The Essex County Sheriff’s Department supplied labor for field set-up, maintenance and disassembly.

Volunteers helped us with flag sales, field set-up and disassembly ,and the reading of the “Verbal Wall.” They were: Tricia Buckley, Marcia Cece, Judy Corsetti, Andy Griffith, Sue Hines, Ben Iacono, Ted Jones, Judy Lacroix, Chuck Teague and City Councilor Charles Tontar.

Thanks also to those who purchased individual flags, the dedications for which created the messages of the “Verbal Wall.”

Thanks also to those in attendance for helping to make this such a moving ceremony.

Finally, thanks to The Daily News for the extensive publicity and event coverage.

All proceeds benefit our program of service in honoring America, helping to prevent child abuse, supporting youth activities and providing general community service where needed.

Stuart Deane

Event Chair

The Exchange Clubof Greater Newburyport

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