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Veterans Day observance with parade and luncheon

By Jennifer Callahan
Oxford Town Manager

Oxford has a deep-rooted history in honoring its local veterans.  This is evidenced not only by the many Veterans’ Memorials that line Main Street, but also in the personal pride Oxford residents have for their local veterans.  As we prepare for Veterans Day, it is important to take time to formally thank our veterans for their sacrifices on behalf of this community and the Nation. 

Veterans Day in Oxford is traditionally celebrated with an Annual Veterans Luncheon at the Senior Center as well as Parade along its Main Street.  Due to extenuating circumstances, the Senior Center was unable to host the event this year.  Upon learning of this change, the Manager’s Office sprang into action and worked with Selectmen Saad to relocate and host the event at the new Carbuncle Beach House.  Within hours of learning the Senior Center was unable to hold the event, over 700 invitations were sent to Oxford’s Veterans to alert them of the complimentary event and the rest of the details for the day began to come together.  Honoring the Veterans of Oxford has always been a time honored tradition for the community and this year will be no different!

In fact, this year will be very special because the Town of Oxford and its Honor Guard will be paying a surprise tribute and be recognizing a truly incredible Veteran and their personal journey as a member of the Armed Services. As Town Manager, I consider the luncheon to be a most wonderful opportunity where town officials and its residents take time to break bread with our homegrown heroes, to reflect upon their contributions and to formally recognize and personally be in the presence of greatness. The Veterans Day Luncheon will take place at The Carbuncle Beach House on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 starting at 11:45 AM. 

The Town of Oxford has always sought to honor the ultimate sacrifices paid by its Veterans in very visible ways. For example, as people enter the front doors of the Oxford Town Hall, they are immediately flanked on both sides by memorial plaques and greeted by the phrase, “Honor to Whom Honor is Due.” The building itself, formally named the “Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall was built in 1872 to honor those who served in the Civil War. Today, it continues to stand and serve as an historic testament of the respect and heartfelt honor Oxford has for all of its Veterans.

Coinciding with Veterans Day events this year, Oxford is also witnessing the passing of an important public service torch with the retirement of its longstanding Veterans Agent, Mr. Daniel O’Halloran. Veterans Agent O’Halloran has proudly served the Town in this position for nearly two decades.  On behalf of the hundreds of Veterans who have benefitted over the years from Mr. O’Halloran attending to their individual needs and connecting them to important services, we humbly thank him and wish him the very best in enjoying his well-deserved retirement with his family!

As a result of this retirement, Oxford warmly welcomes its newly appointed Veterans Agent, Kerry Clark.  Mr. Clark is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Air Force, with thirty years of service.  As Veterans Agent, he will be tasked with assisting Veterans and their families in navigating benefits and other available services.  He will be holding both evening and weekend “Veterans Office Hours” to ensure he is available to any that may require his assistance. 

Additionally, the Annual Veterans Day Parade will be held on November 11, 2019 beginning at 10:45 AM. The parade will start at the Oxford Social Center and will stop at the Town Hall, the World War II Memorial, and the Korean-Vietnam Memorial to render honors and lay wreaths. During the parade, the Oxford Board of Selectmen will be delivering speeches at each of the stops. Please join us as we continue the important traditions of honoring our local Veterans and recognizing their sacrifices to this great Nation.