Veterans Remembered in Memorial Day Ceremony

The ceremony at Veteran's Memorial Park drew a large audience - Image (c) Barbara Purchia, 2013, all rights reserved.
The ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park drew a large audience – Image (c) Barbara Purchia, 2013, all rights reserved.

Complied by The Bedford Citizen

Bedford observed Memorial Day earlier this week with a multi-faceted ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Great Road.

Under blue skies, Paul Purchia, Chair of the Patriotic Holiday Committee that organized the day’s events, began the well-attended ceremony with opening remarks.

“Our nation has remained strong, thanks to the sacrifices made by our Veterans. Today on Memorial Day we gather to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, to remember and honor those fallen heroes who never came home to their families and friends…”       Read more

Purchia then introduced Bill Moonan, chair of the Bedford Selectmen, who spoke about the importance of Memorial Day, the oaths of honor and duty made by our veterans and the numbers of soldiers lost in conflicts throughout our nation’s history.

most of us don’t really stop to think about what Memorial Day truly is about.  It’s not about politics.  Whatever your feelings about current or former wars, remember this:  All military personnel take an oath.  The fallen swore and gave their lives honoring a promise….”  Read more

State Senator Mike Barrett was the next to speak. The focus of his message was the gulf that can exist between those who serve and those at home who remain relatively untouched, though incidents like the Boston Marathon bombings demonstrate how we pull together to face threat and adversity.

“When the war comes home, if only for a moment – when it isn’t something happening “over there” – all of us are changed.  The wall between “us” and “them,” between soldier and civilian, measured in experience and sacrifice, comes down just a little bit….”   Read more 

Bedford resident and State Representative Ken Gordon followed Barrett and honored veterans as well as those who serve our military to provide medical care and other services.

Let us be reminded that their sacrifices have meaning.  What kind of a country, and here in Massachusetts, what kind of a Commonwealth, did these solders fight and die for?  We must uphold the ideals for which these soldiers fought so nobly.  Our state government must be one that listens to its people, that speaks for its people, and that that never forgets its people, and that remembers that we are counted upon to use our heads and our hearts.  And we must never forget that our community was born out of a fight for liberty, and justice for all….”  Read more

The keynote speaker for the day’s ceremony, Colonel Anthony W. Genatempo, was grateful to be asked by Bedford to take part in the commemorations and said in his speech that even though we may not have first-hand combat experience, recent events on our own soil have shown that average citizens can act with bravery and sacrifice as well.

We live in a much different world today.  It is no longer just the actions of those soldiers, sailors, coast guardsmen, marines, and airmen dressed like me that we are here to remember.  We no longer lay sole claim to the title of “Hero” or “Defender”.  It was not a uniformed military member that climbed the stairs of the South Tower in New York City on the morning of Sept 11th.  It was a fireman.  It was a policeman.  It was an Emergency Medical Technician.  From that day forward, our country’s first responders were included in the pantheon of “Defenders of America”, and they and their actions are worthy of remembrance today…..”  Read more

Joe Piantedosi, Bedford resident and member of the Patriotic Holiday Committee then read the names of those veterans who have died since Memorial Day 2012:

World War II: Salvatore F. Albano; Richard L. Anthony; Harry R. Barker, Jr.; Jack Baronian; John Chamberlain; William G. Chamberlain; Henry Clark; Edward A. Hanson, Sr.; Robert Hansen; James A. Hanley; Muriel L. Heath; Aldie E. Johnson, Jr.; John F. Leonard; Francis G Lord; Alfred P. Kusa; Ralph T. Meuse; Warren E. Neil; Joe M. Parks; Joseph W. Ricardelli; Edward Scheipers, Jr. ; Vlad Yakov; Charles P. Zaneski

World War II and Korea: Robert Landrigan; Elizabeth L. Wood

World War II, Korea, and Vietnam: Edward C. Lawrence

Korea: Donald W. Foley; George G. Gatchell; John R. Hill; Allan F. Kenny; Robert Slechta; Carmen Stella

Vietnam: William F. Braga, Jr.; James J. Falzone; Richard L. Fedele; Frederick Gordon; Curtis P. Traverse; ; Peacetime or Unknown: James M. Barry, Jr.; Carl E. Burri; Paul D. Condon; Ronald F. Miller; Albert R. Perkinson; Leo A. Tripodi; Vincent D. Tyer, Jr.; Kenneth R. Wiggett

The Citizen is proud to present these images from Memorial Day, tanks to intrepid photographer Barbara Purchia:

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: or 781-325-8606

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