By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Under cool, overcast skies hundreds of residents gathered to honor Westborough's veterans, past and present, during ceremonies held throughout the town Memorial Day, May 26. ??At ceremonies held at St. Luke's, Pine Grove Cemetery and Midland cemeteries, as well as in front of the war memorial at the Forbes Municipal Building (FMB), officials and residents alike remembered with words, music and prayer those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Westborough High School a cappella Group, “Don's Panic” performed the national anthem at the start of the FMB ceremony. ?Members of the group include Varun Shankavarm, Benedict Hensley, Hannah Cayem, CJ Ramsey, Jared Wong, Hope Fitch, Sonya Mirchandani, Sabrina Herstedt, and Joel Reske. The WHS and Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School marching bands performed musical selections.
Guest speakers included Denzil Drewry, a member of the Board of Selectmen and the town's acting veterans agent; Board of Selectmen Chair George Barrette; Colonel Brent E. French; ?Adelene Egan, president of the WHS National Honor Society; Lorin Reed III, vice commander of the American Legion Post 163 and State Rep. Matthew Beaton, R- Shrewsbury.
Drewry noted that one person in particular was missed during this year's ceremony – former veterans” agent George A. Perry III, who passed away unexpectedly in April. To honor his legacy, Perry was named as Grand Marshal for this year's event. An U.S. Army Jeep rode in the parade with a photo of Perry attached to the windshield.
“It's only appropriate that George was named grand marshal,” Drewry said. “He did so much for veterans, especially behind the scenes.”
Perry's brother Robert also addressed the crowd and spoke of his brother's love for Westborough and for helping fellow veterans. In fact, he noted, he had spoken to George the night before he passed away. George, who had recently been hospitalized, was supposed to be resting, Robert said. Instead, he was hard at work, doing what he loved best – helping others.
“I love you my brother, my friend, my comrade,” Robert concluded. “Until we meet again I salute you.”
During a round of rifle fire several Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts read the names of veterans who died in 2013. A final prayer was also offered by Pastor John Taylor, the senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church.