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Fallen remembered at Veterans Cemetery

Union Leader Correspondent

May 30. 2013 9:55PM
Veterans participate in the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony Thursday morning. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

BOSCAWEN — As hundreds of veterans and their families looked on, retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. John Cebrowski brought the urgency of the battlefield into his words, recalling his calls for help when one of his sergeants was wounded.

"I was yelling to the medevac," the Vietnam veteran said, raising his voice to a roar. "Move it! Move it!"

His shout startled some at Thursday's New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery's Memorial Day ceremony, but his emotion connected with the veterans present, many in wheelchairs.

"The way he said it, that's the way it was," said Jim Lee, 88, of Londonderry, who fought in World War II in Europe.

"That's what it is, when you're fighting in war, there's always someone yelling for help," he said.

Cebrowski, a state representative from Hillsborough and a highly decorated officer, said on his first day of combat, a sniper took out one of his men.

"This is the first name I go to when I visit the (Vietnam) Wall," he said.

Cebrowski was the guest speaker at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery ceremony, which is held each year on May 30, the traditional Memorial Day.

"I reflect with pride on the services and sacrifices of our service men and women," Cebrowski said.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte praised America's veterans and spoke of the men and women still serving overseas.

"How blessed we are to have them serve us," Ayotte said. "We will count the days until they return, and we pray that they will return safe."

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said parents need to teach children "that Memorial Day is not just about sales (at stores)."

"We cannot and we must not forget," she said.

Lee, who was brought in a wheelchair to the ceremony by his son, said he had come hoping to see some old war buddies. He was disappointed.

"They must all be gone," he said.

But Lee said he appreciates all the good will toward soldiers and veterans he's seen in recent years.

"There was a time when we didn't see much of that," he said. "But now people come up and thank me for my service all the time, and that's really nice."

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