With opening day behind us, I look forward to the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend and all the Veterans coming to the area with their families to enjoy the holiday. As I was cruising down the lake this past Saturday, enjoying the beautiful spring colors bursting out, I began thinking how our passengers must be enjoying this scenery. The fluorescent green hues of the hardwoods standing out against the darker evergreens are just spectacular.
I was raised in a very patriotic family, but I’ve never served our country as I was one of the millions that came of age in the late 70’s when the draft was eliminated by the Carter Administration. I fondly remember my childhood days of watching the parades, flying the US Flag on my bicycle while riding alongside the veterans, wondering why everyone was silent for the speeches and then trying to get an empty shell after the gunners fired their rifles in the air as part of the memorial service. I can remember WWI and WWII veterans being the ones in the parade marching in their Legion uniforms (Vietnam was still going on when I was a kid). I loved the dime a dip supper put on by the American Legion’s ladies with all the homecooked casserole dishes and baked desserts. Those were important times in my upbringing.
As I was preparing to write a blog about Memorial Day Weekend and how it’s celebrated today, I began wondering how many Veterans I work with here at Mount Washington Cruises. Certainly, we don’t have as many today as there were when I first started in 1979. Heck, just about every Captain, Pilot, and Engineer was a veteran back then let alone many of the crew. A result of the WWII generation.
I must, however, admit I am surprised by the number of veterans we do have working on the boats today. From our oldest veteran, Captain Paul Smith to our youngest, Deck Officer Ryan Welch I proudly salute all my fellow employees who have served or are actively still serving this great country. Maybe you recognize a couple, they are as follows:
Bill “Shep” Merrill
Harry Welch, Jr.
No matter how you spend your holiday weekend, please take time to remember those veterans we so relied on to protect our freedom, and most importantly enjoy your weekend.