The concept of ‘Nurses Week’ was expanded to honor all healthcare workers, clinical and non-clinical alike, who are caring for Veterans at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Salute to Service Rolling Rally began at noon on Friday, May 8 when hundreds of first responders started their engines and their sirens for a parade from the campus’s northern parking area, along Springs Road, and through the campus. Staff and patients watched out the windows and stood in the sun, lining the roads, cheering, and clapping as the parade passed by.
The Rolling Rally was organized by the Bedford VAMC police department in collaboration with multiple local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and first responders. At the stroke of noon, hundreds of vehicles with red and blue lights flashing made their way (with sirens screaming) from the staging area, along Springs Road, then into the campus.
Who was there?
Thirty participating police departments sent shiny patrol vehicles and motorcycles: Acton, Amesbury, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Dracut, Environmental, Gloucester, Groton, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Natick, Newburyport, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Sudbury, Tyngsboro, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Westford, Wilmington, and Woburn.
Fire departments from Bedford, Burlington, Westford, and Wilmington sent apparatus — small fire engines to immense ladder trucks, along with ambulances and rescue vehicles.
Ambulances from Boston MedFlight, Armstrong Ambulance, and Brewster Ambulance were on hand, along with tow trucks from Riggio’s and Mal’s.
Adding to the parade, hosted by Bedford’s Department of Veterans Affairs Police, were Hanscom Security Forces; Massachusetts State Police; Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department; the North Eastern Mass Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) Motorcycle Unit; the Transit Police; U.S. Park Rangers and the Massachusetts Environmental Police; and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
To cap the festivities, Medical Center Director Dr. Joan Clifford thanked the participants. “We’re all in this together, and on behalf of our staff,” she said, “and I can’t thank you enough.”