Veterans Day, 2014 – Observance at Memorial Park

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Dignitaries and Cub Scouts at Bedford’s 2014 Veterans Day observance – Image (c) Barb Purchia, 2014

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

On behalf of Bedford’s Patriotic Holiday Committee, Chairman Paul Purchia  welcomed distinguished speakers and guests – veterans, friends and family members alike – taking part in the 2014 Veterans Day ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park on Great Road.

“Today we take time to honor America’s 21 million veterans and to remember those veterans who are no longer with us,” Purchia said. “We join our fellow Americans in honoring every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country in peacetime and in time of war, in the United States.”

Speakers included Hugo Garcia, 1st Vice Commander of American Legion Post 221, who offered the Chaplain’s prayer; David Ganeto, Commander of VFW Post 1628; Margot Fleishman, Chair of the Bedford Selectmen; State Senator Mike Barrett; and State Representative Ken Gordon.

Selectman Fleischman spoke of her grandfather’s photographs from WWI, “The photos from his war are black and white, and some are grainy, but they clearly show that the men and women who served then look an awful lot like those who have served since, and those who are serving now. To step back in time is to recognize what has changed and what has not. To dwell a while in the history my grandfather embodied is to see more clearly the lives of those who are serving now. And to think back on the nearly 70 years he lived after returning from war is to see how long into the future stretches our responsibility to serve the veterans of this day, who are now young and have futures ahead of them that we must help secure.” Click to read the full text of  Selectman Fleischman’s remarks.

State Senator Michael Barrett’s remarks recalled Private First Class John Hart, US Army, and Lance Corporal Travis Desiato, US Marine Corps, both young men from Bedford who lost their lives in Iraq within a year of each other. Expressing gratitude for their service, and support for the families they left behind, Barrett urged that such gratitude be turned “into concrete acts of community – appreciation for the families at Hanscom Air Force Base, support for the patients at the Bedford VA, or help for the veterans living among us who encounter head winds and tough times in adjusting back to civilian life.” He ended his remarks saying, “On this Veterans Day, may we remember the dead, come to the aid of the injured, salute the healthy — and give thanks all around for American courage and American resilience.” Click to read the full text of  Senator Barrett’s remarks.

Bedford’s State Represenatative Ken Gordon read part of the poem It is the Veteran. “Its author is unknown,” said Gordon, “and maybe its better that way, because its words belong to all of us.  This is especially meaningful to me, your state representative, a lawyer and a former journalist. Because all of these roles are called out, and it reminds me that anything I have accomplished could not have been done without the sacrifice of our veterans.”

  • It is the Veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
    It is the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
    It is the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
    It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
    It is the Veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
    It is the Veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

Click to read Representative Gordon’s remarks.

Purchia concluded the ceremony saying, “We also take time to remember members of our military who currently serve our nation both here and abroad. We thank you and your families for your service and for the many sacrifices you make. And we pray for a swift and safe return home for all our military serving in harms way throughout the globe.”

The following photographs were kindly shared by Bedford photographer Barb Purchia:

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