Letter to the Editor – Northborough selectman offers apology to families of lost servicemen


To the Editor:

I write in apology for a very significant omission in my remarks at the concluding ceremony of the Northborough Memorial Day Parade at Howard Street Cemetery on Monday May 28. I spoke as the representative of the Board of Selectmen, and it is customary for the speaking selectman to acknowledge, by name, the three Northborough servicemen most recently lost: Brian Arsenault (Afghanistan, Sept. 4, 2014); David McAfee (Vietnam, Aug. 22, 1968); and Neil Ellsworth (Vietnam, April 13, 1967). I have mentioned these three young men on prior occasions: at last year’s Memorial Day observance; at the December Ellsworth Tree Lighting ceremony; and from time to time in Selectmen meetings. But this year, in placing my focus on the past and speaking about another serviceman — Vincent F. Picard, for whom our American Legion Post 234 is named — I lost sight of the present, and did not offer the appropriate recognition of these three on the very day, above all others, when their service should be gratefully remembered and acknowledged. The omission is most acutely felt for Brian Arsenault; unlike David and Neil, whose Vietnam service is recognized at the Tri-War Memorial observance during the parade, there is no marker or stopping point along the route that serves to represent Brian’s theater of conflict and honor his sacrifice. Although I spoke on behalf of the Board, the words, and the fault, are mine alone. I sincerely and humbly apologize to these heroic servicemen — Brian Arsenault, David McAfee, and Neil Ellsworth — and to their families and friends.

Jason Perreault
Northborough Board of Selectmen