By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Under warm and cloudy skies, approximately 50 people gathered Sept. 11 in front of the Forbes Municipal Building (FMB), to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The event was organized by Westborough High School (WHS) freshman Abigail McLucas as part of her involvement with Project 351, an initiative that selects student ambassadors from each community across the state who works toward the goal of implementing positive changes in their community.
Members of the town’s police and fire departments, local and state legislators, and students from WHS gathered to remember those who perished in the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Prayers and words of praise and thanks were also offered for the men and women working to keep peace both locally and globally.
As she greeted those gathered, Abigail noted that all she knew of Sept. 11, 2001, was what her family and others had told her.
She was “guilty,” she said, of “taking advantage of living in such a safe community.”
“So it’s important for all of us to show our gratitude to our police and fire departments who protect us,” she said. “We owe them so much.”
Guest speakers included Adam Costello, director of the Central Massachusetts Veterans’ Services District and a veteran who has served two tours in Iraq, and State Rep. Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury. Father Jim Boland from St. Luke’s Catholic Church also participated, offering a prayer for those who had died as well as for current law enforcement.
Assisted by WHS freshman Declan Mazur, State Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, placed a wreath in front of the Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom Memorial located in front of the FMB. The wreath had been donated by Mugford’s Flower Shoppe.
To show their appreciation to local law enforcement, freshman Troy Kanji and sophomore Elizabeth Hopkinson presented posters signed by WHS students to department representatives Sgt. Steven Reale, Westborough Police Department and United States Marine Corps and Matt Stockwell, Westborough Fire Department and member of United States Air Force Reserve. A poster was also given to U.S. Air Force Col Col. Brent French and his wife Kristin, and Costello, all of whom were representing the Westborough Department of Veterans Affairs. WHS junior Eamonn Mazur and senior Kerry Larkin played Taps.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Abigail thanked those who had participated and those who had supported her in organizing it, including her parents Doug and Julie McLucas.
There would also be one more token of thanks for the police and fire departments, she added. That afternoon, students would be delivering baskets of baked goods to each department for them to enjoy.