Veterans have given so much to this country and on Saturday, the Foxborough community gathered in the high school auditorium to say “thank you.”
The town’s Veterans Day ceremony featured music from the Serenading Seniors and messages of thanks and appreciation to the town’s veterans and current active military service members.
Among the messages shared Saturday, it was the one from a Foxborough High School senior that perfectly put into perspective the true meaning of Veterans Day.
“We wouldn’t be living in the Land of the Free if it weren’t for the brave and those brave people are the veterans,” said FHS Senior Emma Carleton.
Isn’t that the truth.
Carleton thanked veterans for being “so much more than a person who fought in a war” and for their service and sacrifice.
“If you have served our country I thank you from the bottom of my heart for protecting me and everyone else,” Carleton said. “I am so grateful to have people like you fight for my freedom and allow me to live the privileged life in this country I get to live.”
The FHS senior encouraged those in the audience to show veterans similar appreciation.
“We all need to go to a veteran we know, or [a veteran we] see walking down the street and thank them for all they have done for us,” Carleton said. … “They fought for freedom without being asked. They did what needed to be done without asking for anything in return. I think everyone, including myself, needs to appreciate that.”
Also in attendance to honor veterans were two of Foxborough’s representatives.
Recently re-elected State Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole), who is the son, nephew and brother of Marines, thanked veterans for their service and the Foxborough community for their hospitality.
“Foxborough is a very special community,” Timilty said. Tremendous participation through the generations, which is important.”
State Representative Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield) thanked veterans for their volunteerism and bravery to defend our country’s freedom
“Our veterans have chosen to serve and protect our country,” Barrows said. … “They recognize that if called upon their lives would be sacrificed to preserve our country. Many have made that ultimate sacrifice. … Our veterans sacrifice their free will and individual leisure for the sake and needs of our military.”
Barrows also spoke of his son, Cameron, who serves in the US National Guard and the pride he takes in his son carrying on the legacy of Barrows’ father, Bob, who was drafted into the Army after World War II.
“We in America have much to be thankful for,” Barrows said. “Especially of our freedom and prosperity. In this dangerous world we would not be afforded these things without the protection and service of our veterans. … The scope of this sacrifice commands our honor and respect. It’s important to honor our veterans not just today but every day.”
One of the ceremony’s keynote speakers, Col. Robert Kelly, is a Foxborough High School graduate (1986) and is currently enrolled in the US Army War College in Pennsylvania. He spoke fondly of his hometown and what Veterans Day means to him.
“I grew up in this town, I graduated from this high school but since leaving this town in 1986, the Army has moved me 15 times, both internationally and throughout the country,” Col. Kelly said. “I’ve gotten a lot of mail in a lot of places but when people ask me where I’m from I always say Foxborough.”
Col. Kelly said there are currently over 63,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fighting in Afghanistan with an additional 136,000 service members deployed around the world.
He thanked not only those service members and veterans but their families as well.
“While my thoughts and prayers are with [current service members], Veterans Day is not just about them,” Col. Kelly said. “It is about honoring all of our veterans from all of America’s wars … their families. The effect of war on military families can be seen and the level of sacrifice military families make on this great nation is real and substantial.”
In addition to Saturday’s ceremony at Foxborough High School, the New England Patriots honored veterans Sunday during its game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.
Following the Patriots’ 37-31 victory, head coach Bill Belichick took a moment to thank veterans before addressing the media in his postgame press conference.
“I’ll just start by saying for myself and on behalf of the team, how much appreciation we have on Veterans Day, how we honored those veterans before the game and how appreciative we are for all that our servicemen and all the armed forces do for us and give us the opportunity to go out there and do what we did [Sunday],” Belichick said. “Without them, we all know that that really – it’s a part of our way of life and they protect it for us, and we appreciate that.”
Foxborough Fire and Rescue also posted a photo on Foxborough Patch’s Facebook page saluting veterans for their service (see photo in the gallery above).
Foxborough Town Historian Jack Authelet likened the volunteerism of veterans to that of the Foxborough community – both are special and both are reasons to be thankful.
“Giving so much of themselves … this is what Foxborough is all about,” Authelet said. “This sense of community that has made us so unique since our very beginning.”
To watch Saturday’s Foxborough Veterans Day ceremony, click this link provided by Foxboro Cable Access.