By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Local and state officials participated in a moving ceremony May 11 at Penta Communications, Inc., to commemorate Military Appreciation Day.
The Northborough American Legion Post 234 Color Guard presented the colors to start the ceremony before the dignitaries and other guests were welcomed by the company’s CEO Deborah Penta. Noting that it was the fourth year the event had been held and once again, anticipated rains held off, Penta said she believed it was “not because of us gathered here this morning but because of those veterans who we are honoring today.”
“We are here to honor all members of the military who have offered their selfless duty to our great nation,” she added, “and to acknowledge our freedoms which we cannot take for granted.”
Her company would be furthering its commitment to veterans, she said, with a donation to Fishing with Warriors, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide recreational opportunities free of charge to veterans.
Penta also thanked Westborough Gold Star Mother Rita Lee for attending the ceremony. Lee’s son, 2nd Lt. Vincent “Vin” B. Lee, U.S. Marine Corps, was killed at age 24 in 1969 during a search and destroy operation in the Vietnam War.
Special guest speaker Francisco Urena, secretary of veterans services for the commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanked those present for attending and noted that it was a “true privilege” to be there that morning. After acknowledging the veterans in the audience who had served in World War II or Korea, he asked those who had served in Vietnam to stand.
“They never got the recognition they deserved,” he said. “So I say welcome home and thank you!” as the crowd applauded.
In his remarks, he noted that Massachusetts “is a leader in veterans’ services and will continue to be one.” As such, the state was committed, he added, to working with veterans on furthering their education and transitioning to the business world.
Other guest speakers included state senators Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) and Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and state representatives Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston), Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) and Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury).
After the speakers’ portion of the ceremony, the color guard led the dignitaries to the company’s courtyard for the official raising of the United States flag.
Music was provided prior to and after the ceremony by the Westborough High School Saxophone Quartet.
For more information on Fishing with Warriors, visit www.fishingwithwarriors.us.