Forced indoors by inclement weather, but determined to commemorate those who gave their lives in service to their country, Island veterans gathered in solemn observance of Memorial Day Monday morning.

Vets of many different wars. — Mark Lovewell

Instead of the traditional parade, uniformed veterans, police officers and firefighters stood in formation for the ceremony at the Tisbury School gymnasium. Only the faintest hint of sunshine was evident outside when the service began at 10 a.m. By the time the observance ended, the skies opened up with a windy downpour.

The U.S. Coast Guard presented colors to begin the ceremony. Senior Chief Robert Riemer, officer in charge at Coast Guard Station Menemsha, was the guest speaker.

“This event made me reflect on the price of our freedom, and the solders, sailors and the airmen who fought to guarantee those freedoms,” he said. “These American heroes laid down their lives for us. Today is their day. Once our observance here is done today, I encourage all of you to walk to the cemetery here or elsewhere. When you do that, stop at the grave of a fallen service member. Read their stone and know that they gave their life to protect our country, our rights, and our way of life.”

Coast Guard senior chief Robert Riemer was guest speaker. — Mark Lovewell

County veterans agent Jo Ann Murphy read aloud the names of all of the Martha’s Vineyard veterans who died since Memorial Day last year.

Joseph Doucette, Shirley Krikorian, William Deeble 3rd, Charles Hall, Thomas Goethals Jr., and Jerome Kohlberg served in World War II.

Russell Cote, Edmund Bernard, Carl Green, Donald Billings, Bob Phillips, Donald Ben David, Hubert Knipmeyer, Leo Cohen, William Mill, Daniel Greenbaum, George Gilman, Geraldine Silva, Richard Santos, and Harold Hall Jr. served in the Korean conflict.

Island veterans gathered in Tisbury School gymnasium to remember those who died. — Mark Lovewell

Louis Meeks, Bill Searle, and James Barrett served in Viet Nam.

Marlene Perry, Robert Norton and John Leaird served in peacetime.

Tony Peak honored the late service members with a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace, and a Coast Guard rifle party stepped outside in the gathering rain for a traditional three-volley salute.

See more photos, Memorial Day observance.