Persian Gulf War veteran Margie Fish speaks Monday at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Weld Free Public Library as Memorial Committee Chairman Michael Pratt listens. Fish and three other veterans from Weld had their names engraved on the back of the monument in front of her. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

WELD — Dozens of people gathered on a rainy afternoon Monday to honor veterans during a Memorial Day service at the Weld Free Public Library.

“We gather here as a community to honor and remember those from Weld who passed in service to their country,” organizer Sean Minear said. “May we all today pause for a moment, thank a veteran and keep in our memory the sacrifice of those who passed before they got to remove their uniform.”

Three monuments on the library lawn recognize Weld veterans who served in the 20th century. The names of four who served in recent conflicts were recently added to one of the granite monuments.

“The purpose here today is to recognize and celebrate our Weld citizens who have served our country, especially those who are serving now and in the recent conflicts,” Michael Pratt, chairman of the Memorial Committee, said. “Last fall, while talking with Sandra Fish, I asked how their daughter, Margie, was doing. Sandra and Larry were concerned that the veterans of recent years were not being recognized on the Weld veterans’ monuments.”

From that conversation, selectmen authorized formation of the committee and in March voters approved $4,000 for the work, he said.

Fish, Kevin Cochran, Trevor Stewart and Dennis Durant had their names engraved on the monument.


“I am a United States Air Force veteran,” Fish said at Monday’s observance. “I feel honored that I was asked to be a part of today’s Memorial Day ceremony. I am proud to be from Weld, raised to be a part of a community that celebrates Memorial Day with the respect it deserves.”

The names of four Weld veterans are seen Monday on a monument at the Weld Free Public Library on Church Street. One of them, U.S. Air Force veteran Margie Fish, spoke at Monday’s Memorial Day service about her deployment during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Fish served four years during the Persian Gulf War as an inflight refueler on a KC-135 aircraft. She was deployed to Oman during Operation Desert Shield and then Desert Storm. There were close to 400 deaths during the Persian Gulf War, she said.

“Today we also honor veterans serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, a United States-led coalition in response to 911 terrorist attacks,” Fish said.

Fish, who lives in Connecticut, said, “The Persian Gulf War was the first war that saw female participation. I grew up in a small community, watched my mother and father do whatever work they needed to do to get by. My mother hunted and fished right alongside my father. From the very beginning I never saw my gender as a defining thing. In fact, in survival school I was the first to start a fire and the first to finish building a lean-to. I was the only female in our group.”

Male or female we stand together as soldiers and veterans, she added.

Veteran David Jervis carries the American flag Monday afternoon as he leads other veterans from the Weld Free Public Library to a Memorial Day service in front of the library on Church Street in Weld. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

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