Rochester, NH – The City of Rochester and Vouchers for Veterans is proud to announce that they will once again be putting heroism on display this Memorial Day Weekend. Like last year’s event held at the Rochester Common, full size American Flags will be displayed around and within the 1/3-mile oval park. The Field of Honor is free to the public and will open on Saturday, May 28,2022, at 9am. The display will remain in place until dismantling early Tuesday morning, May 31, 2022. Each night at 7pm a bugler will play taps to commemorate members of all branches of the armed forces. This year 550 flags will be erected with 100 of those dedicated specifically to NH and ME veterans who died in service. The multi-day event expects to draw thousands of visitors who will come and pay their respects to the men and women who have served our country, some with the ultimate sacrifice.
Flags are available to dedicate at www.vouchersforveterans.org. Each flag is 3 feet by 5 feet and costs $40.00. You may choose to purchase and pay securely online or print a form and mail it with a check. You may also choose to honor a specific veteran, living or deceased, or allow Vouchers for Veterans to choose one on your behalf. If you purchase multiple flags they will be located together within the display. Volunteers will be on-site throughout the weekend to help you locate your flag(s). Many veterans will show their pride in serving their country by purchasing one for themselves and many friends and family members of veterans will want to honor their veteran in this way. Each flag will be identified with a laminated card containing the name, branch and rank of the veteran. Those who died in action will be denoted with a black cross and each card is attached to the flagpole with a yellow silk ribbon. After the event you may keep your flag, or you may donate it back for future events. Flags may be picked up on June 4, 2022, from 2-5pm at the American Legion Post 7. You may choose to have your flag mailed to you. All sales end May 15, 2022, or until flags are sold out.
A Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 30th beginning at 11am. The American Legion Post 7 will open the ceremony with the presentation of colors followed by the laying of the wreaths for each branch of the military. Mayor Paul Callaghan will welcome all in attendance and provide opening remarks. General Donald Bolduc will speak next, followed by other guest speakers yet to be determined. Vouchers for Veterans has reached out to others and invited them to speak at the ceremony, including Governor Sununu and Senators Shaheen and Hassan. As it is still early in the planning process, they hope that those invitations are accepted. For those that wish to, they may bring a chair to the ceremony.
Jeanne Grover, President of Vouchers for Veterans, is very excited to bring this event back for a second year. “Last year’s event was very emotional for many visitors”, said Grover, “I witnessed several people wiping away tears as they strolled among the field of flags and read the names on the cards. I was also very moved when I saw George Sherwood play taps at his deceased brother’s flag despite the cold and rain that day. I expect to see him and his lovely wife Jane again this year.” George Sherwood is a 94-year-old World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
Vouchers for Veterans would like to thank their generous sponsors this year. Holy Rosary Credit Union is sponsoring 60 flags this year to commemorate their 60th Anniversary. Those flags will specifically honor those veterans that died while serving their country. They are also providing several volunteers to help through the planning process and the weekend of the event. Other sponsors include WitWay Supply Co., Home Depot, and Lowes. For anyone interested in becoming a sponsor for this year’s patriotic event, please reach out to Vouchers for Veterans for more information at 603-817-6030.
Since 2016, Vouchers for Veterans has provided vouchers to local veterans for the purchase of fresh locally sourced food at local farmers markets. New this year, veterans may begin attending designated Winter Farmers Markets, as well as choosing each week from 9 participating farmers markets in September.
Grover states, “This is a first in the nation program of its kind. The program helps three different groups of people simultaneously. The veterans receive the fresh food and ‘thanks’ for serving, the farmers, growers, and food preparers receive the face value of each voucher redeemed, and lastly by keeping it local the money stays in the community. It’s a win win win!”
Their two largest contributors, Iron Tails Saloon and Swim With A Mission, have made it possible for VforV to now provide fresh food weekly to New Hampshire and Maine veterans five months out of the year. Also, while attending the markets, the veterans have an opportunity to speak with a representative from Military Affairs and Veterans Services to learn of benefits for which they may qualify yet did not know existed. The program is not based on need and is intended to be a “thank you” from community members for the veterans’ service.
All net proceeds help to fund Vouchers for Veterans.