By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – A large contingent of Westborough residents of all ages put on their rain jackets and grabbed their umbrellas the morning of May 30 before gathering along South Street and then in front of the Forbes Municipal Building (FMB) to pay tribute to the town’s veterans on Memorial Day. Girl and Boy Scouts, the Westborough High School Band, town officials and a number of veterans marched in a parade through the town before stopping at the FMB for an emotional ceremony that honored the town’s veterans.
Col. Brent French, who served as master of ceremonies, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for braving the elements to attend the ceremony.
The national anthem was sung by the WHS a cappella group, Consort (members Julia Marcus, Sarah Bock, Hailey Erb, Benedict Hensley and Chris LaMountain). State Rep. Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury and Ian Johnson, chair of the Board of Selectmen, placed a wreath on a plaque that honors the late United States Marine Corp Capt. Michael Haskell, who was killed in the Beirut barracks attacks in 1983.
Kane told a poignant story of Robert Boyd, a friend of her father’s, who died in Vietnam. Although Boyd died several years before she was born, Kane said that she grew up knowing of his bravery and service through her father’s stories. Boyd’s passing affected not only his family and friends, but indeed his whole home town of Yarmouth, she said.
It was now our duty, she added, to never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by so many like her family’s friend.
Andrew Toorock, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, served as the day’s grand marshal. In addressing the audience, he thanked them for coming out on a day that although was cold and drizzly, was “still beautiful because we are honoring our veterans.”
He noted that he was humbled by the honor and thankful that Americans now offer their gratitude to veterans. He added that “we should also think a bit on this day about those who fought in the American Revolution too – that’s why we are here.”
After he spoke, Kane presented him a citation of congratulations on behalf of the state legislature.
As is tradition at Westborough’s Memorial Day commemoration, a WHS student reads the Gettysburg Address. This year, that honor went to Kush Patel, the president of the WHS class of 2016. He was also presented with the American Legion School Medal and Certificate for outstanding scholastic achievement from Selectman Denzil Drewry, who is also the acting commander of the American Legion Post 163
As the VFW Post 9013 Honor Guard fired three volleys of rifle fire, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts read the names of the town’s veterans who passed away in 2015. WHS band buglers Kerry Larkin and Eamonn Mazur, as they have in past years, played TAPS.