Pearl Harbor remembrance to be held at French King Bridge

  • Bruce Fowler, of Athol, and Jeffrey Neipp, of Leyden, are members of Rolling Thunder Vermont Chapter 1, which will commemorate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with a ceremony near the French King Bridge on Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/5/2019 6:26:13 PM
Modified: 12/5/2019 6:26:02 PM

GILL — In remembrance of Pearl Harbor, the Rolling Thunder Vermont Chapter 1 will hold its annual ceremony at the French King Bridge Saturday at noon.

“It’s an event in history that people should continue to remember,” said Chapter 1 President Jeffrey Neipp, of Leyden. “No matter the day of the week, it’s always held on Dec. 7, at noon.”

The ceremony has been held for about 15 years, Neipp said. He will speak briefly before calling out the color guard to honor those who died in the Pearl Harbor attacks on Dec. 7, 1941, and those who went on to serve and gave their lives in World War II.

“We’ll have the Marine Corps League coming to do the color guard and firing squad,” he said.

After the opening ceremony, “Taps” will be played as the group places a wreath on the gazebo by the bridge parking lot in honor of veterans. Neipp said the wreath is adorned with the decorations of the five branches of military service — Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard — and their flags.

Rolling Thunder’s main function as a nonprofit is to publicize the prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA) issue; to educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind; and to help correct the past and protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war or missing in action.

The group provides aid to veterans and contributes to fundraisers that give back to their communities around the holidays. Rolling Thunder will also participate in Wreaths Across America on Dec. 14, starting at noon at the Soldier’s Home in Bennington, Vt., where hundreds of wreaths will be placed on the graves of veterans and a donation will be given to the Soldier’s Home. Neipp said more than 300 wreaths are typically used annually.

Donations are accepted year-round to Rolling Thunder Vermont 1, P.O. Box 8391, Brattleboro, VT 05304-8391.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.

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