Woburn Gathers to Thank Veterans for Their Service [VIDEO]
Thanks extend to veterans abroad and at home.
Flags snapped in the stiff wind on the Common yesterday morning during the city’s salute to veterans on Veterans’ Day.
George Poole, commander of the Woburn United Veterans Council, emceed the program. Poole, an Army veteran of Vietnam and the Cold War, and several other speakers thanked veterans for their service.
In the semicircle of flag-bearers facing the speakers and elected officials stood David Lennon, Jr. David is 12. He stood next to his father, David, Sr., a member of the Knights of Columbus. Both held flags.
“I want to serve veterans who fought in wars,” David Jr., told Woburn Patch. When he gets old enough, he said, “I want to become a Marine.”
On the other side of the Common stood Edward Sousa, a Marine who completed active duty in Afghanistan in June. His son, Matthew, 5, wore camo-style fatigues to the Veterans’ Day ceremony.
While Sousa has come home, another local family will soon have two sons serving in the military. Charles Culhane, an Army veteran of Vietnam, presented Karen and Kevin Keane with two blue star banners. The blue stars banners signify hope and pride, Culhane said, and are available to families of service people on active duty.
Besides veterans, Poole paid tribute to Woburn Police Officer Robert DeNapoli, who was shot in a robbery here in September. Police, like veterans, serve in harm’s way, Poole commented. Poole also mentioned former City Solicitor John McElhiney, who died in September.
At several points during yesterday’s ceremony, Canadian Air Force Maj. Conrad Bourgeois saluted. Bourgeois is on exchange with the US Air Force, he said; he has lived in Woburn for four years. He’s come to Veterans Day ceremonies here all four years, he said. In Canada, Veterans’ Day is called Remembrance Day, he noted.
Before the ceremony started, the Scalesse family—parents Lori and Eric and Ryan Scalesse, 7 and Dillon Scalesse, 3 and Alison Crowell, 4, all of Woburn, stood on the Main Street sidewalk across from the Common, waiting for the parade of veterans and other marching groups, including two bands, the WMHS Marching Band and the Woburn Civic Band, to arrive from Central Square near the Wyman School. They come to the parade and ceremony “to honor veterans,” Lori said, and to see family members in the parade. Ryan attended a Veterans’ Day program at his school, the Altavesta, his mother pointed out.
Jack McQuilkin, who is very close to 4 years old, attended his first Veterans’ Day parade yesterday, according to his grandfather, Ray Dunbar. Jack told Woburn Patch he liked the cars in the parade best.
Something new will be coming to Common, the city’s director of veterans’ services, Larry Guiseppe told people at the ceremony: a memorial to veterans of all wars that supplants the crumbling monument to those who fought in World War II. Get the newest information on this story on Woburn Patch Monday morning.