Northborough community honors local veterans

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

Northborough turned out in large numbers, Nov. 7, for the Rolling Hometown Heroes Parade. (Photo/Cheryl Arsenault)

NORTHBOROUGH – Northborough community members gathered for the Rolling Hometown Heroes Parade on Nov. 7, waving flags as the parade rolled along Main Street.

The parade was held by Boros Cares 4 Troops (BC4T). 

It’s the second year that the organization has held such an event, according to BC4T founder Michelle Gillespie. 

“It was nice to get the veterans to see each other at a distance,” she said of last year’s parade.

Gillespie and Leslie Arsenault started the Hometown Heroes Program after seeing banners dedicated to individual veterans in Bolton. 

Arsenault’s son, Army Spc. Brian K. Arsenault was killed in Afghanistan in 2014 while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. 

Northborough hung roughly 100 of its own banners last year. This year, there are about 136 banners, including ones honoring veterans from the Civil War. 

In Northborough, the banners are on display throughout October and November. 

BC4T delivered care packages to veterans during the pandemic, realizing, through that process, how many veterans lived in the area. 

So, they decided to hold a rolling parade down Main Street, where the banners lined the streets. Some of the participants were the veterans themselves, while others were their family members. 

Residents came out and waved as the veterans drove past.

Attendees at Northborough’s Rolling Hometown Heroes Parade wave to passersby. (Photo/Cheryl Arsenault)

“The veterans enjoyed it, and the residents wanted to acknowledge their service,” Gillespie said.

When she spoke with the Community Advocate before this year’s parade, Gillespie estimated that anywhere between 75 to 100 cars may be participating in the parade. 

The parade began at the American Legion and ended at the Northborough baseball fields on East Main Street. 

BC4T has been busy receiving requests for banners. 

According to the organization’s website, the program is open to Northborough veterans — both natives and new residents to town — who have served in the active military, naval or air service and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. 

People can still request banners for their loved ones by visiting BC4T’s website at http://www.bc4t.org/hometown-heroes.html.