by Rebecca Riddell
This weekend’s dismal weather cleared up just in time for the 47th annual Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, May 7 at the Reedville Stack. Though it was a bit windy the sun was shining brightly and the cooler weather gave way to warmth. There was an immense crowd of people in attendance including congressmen Rob Wittman and his family. The day began with a parade of boats including the Elva C., the Chesapeake Breeze, and Smith Point Sea Rescue I, other boaters from across the area representing both commercial fisherman and recreational boaters were in attendance as well. The air was filled with music as the Kilmarnock Pipe Band performed traditional bagpipe tunes.
To officially start the ceremony, American Legion Post 117 presented the colors and singer Courtney Kline dazzled the crowd with her flawless rendition of the National Anthem. The crowd then joined in singing America the Beautiful.
Vice president of operations at Omega protein, Monty Diehl was first to speak and welcomed and thanked the crowd and the speakers for attending the event. Reverend Sandi Mizirl of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church-Fleeton gave the call to worship with Psalm 104:24-28 which speaks of the sea and the vast amounts of creatures within.
She again welcomed all in attendance on behalf of St. Marys and provided some insight into the importance of the days events and of recognizing both the dangers and the importance of fishing in our community. She then prayed for guidance and protection in work and recreation.
Together, attendees joined in the singing of Shall we Gather at the River. Pastor David Smith then took the stage and read from Matthew 4:18-22. This passage tells of Peter and Andrew, who cast their nets aside to follow the lord to become fishers of men. He then prayed for an abundant harvest as well as for protection and blessing.
For full story pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo