Ocean City Honors Veterans at Annual Ceremony

first_imgVeterans from all branches of the service were among the couple hundred in attendance at Ocean City’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday.“They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” Maureen Hickman Caporaso told a couple hundred people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday for Ocean City’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.Colin Schweim and first-grade teacher Carrie MerrittCaporaso then said that her life began early.Her father, U.S. Air Force Capt. Vincent J. Hickman, was the navigator on a B-26 bomber that was shot down during a mission over South Vietnam on Jan. 14, 1964. It took troops five days to get to the site of the wreckage, and no bodies were found.Officially listed missing in action, Hickman became the 100th American casualty in Vietnam. He was 30, and he left a widow with four daughters under the age of five.In her keynote address, Caporaso said her father’s death made her mother and sisters independent and strong, and her mother ultimately walked her daughters down the aisle. But war in Vietnam was unpopular, and her mother received little help after her father’s death.“Every resource should be made available to veterans and their families,” Caporaso said in capturing the theme of the entire ceremony.The event included Ocean City Primary School first-graders Colin Schweim, Brandon Granger, Ava Hopely, Cody Schweim and Bryn Gallagher from Carrie Merritt’s class reading their thank-you letters to the veterans.Mayor Jay Gillian urged all in attendance to “take the time to thank a veteran,” and he made special note of the deaths this year of two veterans who were an integral part of the community: Joe DiOrio and Dick Grimes.“God just raised the bar taking these two gentlemen up there,” Gillian said.Ocean City Intermediate School sixth-grader Julia Wilson sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” Father Edmond Speitel gave the invocation, and the Rev. Gregory Johnson the benediction.American Legion Commander Bob Marzulli led the Pledge of Allegiance, and VFW Commander Mike Morrissey introduced the speakers. Veterans Clark Manley and Joseph Walters conducted the ceremonial placing of the wreath.__________Click here to sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alertslast_img read more