By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – Scouts fist-bumped local veterans, thanking them for their service during a Veterans Day ceremony at the old Beal school in town.
“I’m truly glad that we were able to gather again in person so that we can personally thank our veterans for their service,” said Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen Chair John Samia. “Today we celebrate and honor all of you, our local veterans, for your patriotism, love of our country and serving to preserve our freedom and democracy.”
Samia and the other selectmen were joined by Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) and the Shrewsbury Police Department.
Girl Scouts Jessica Minton and Rachel Harvie led the Pledge of Allegiance. The third-grade chorus at Walter J. Paton Elementary School performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and songs from the United States services.
A wreath was laid at the war memorial on the Beal property.
After a prayer, Fred Russel and William Rand read the names of veterans who recently passed away.
Master of Ceremonies John Travers said it was important that the Shrewsbury Police Department Color Guard were there for these events, noting that this year was the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“That was the day that the War on Terror started,” Travers said.
“At the end of this ceremony when we line up and we say thank you to our veterans, I think it’s interesting to think about when we say, ‘Thank you for your service’ what does that service mean,” Travers said.
He continued, noting this year’s Veterans Day observances in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we say, ‘Thank you for your service,’ I think we often don’t really understand what the meaning of that is, but I think this year more than ever when our scouts line up and they go through, maybe they have a little taste of what that truly means because last year they really missed a lot of those things and have a little understanding of what that sacrifice truly is,” he said.