Hundreds gather in N.H. to show support for troops

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NASHUA, N.H. (AP) – Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and his rock band, Capitol Offense, entertained 600 to 700 people who gathered at a New Hampshire park Saturday, ahead of a rally that organizers say was intended to show support for U.S. troops and veterans.

The event at Greeely Park was part of the nationwide, nonpartisan rally, dubbed Operation America Rising. In New Hampshire, it brought together local residents, members of military families and veterans, event organizer Jennifer Horn said.

“It was a community effort, a community message of support for men and women who have served and who continue to serve,” Horn said. “We thought that it was important at this time in our nation’s history for people to come together.”

“Good people can disagree about policy and politics, but … when we have children or neighbors or co-workers who are serving in active duty, we stand united behind them,” Horn said. “We don’t ever want there to be any misunderstanding that as Americans we are a united nation.”

Elsewhere, the rallies – some numbering in the hundreds, others with a handful in attendance – took place from California to Connecticut.

Speakers included a woman whose son was killed in Iraq in 2006, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, and the adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard.

The rally ended with a 21-gun salute, playing of Taps and a flag-folding ceremony performed by members of the American Legion from Hudson, New Hampshire – rites associated with military funerals, Horn said.

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