It is an honor for me to be asked to speak here today and I extend my sincere thanks to Bob Briere and the members of the Veterans’ Honor Roll Committee for the privilege of doing so. There are many who have made this day possible and I will leave it - rightfully so - to others better equipped than I to honor them with recognition. I instead, shall confine my remarks to the sanctity of what this event commemorates. Thus, On behalf of the Town of Sturbridge, I would like to thank you all for attending and extend a warm welcome to you on this very special day not only in our Town’s history, but in a much larger sense that of our nation and those who have stood guard on the wall that separates freedom from oppression, democracy from dictatorship, and hope from despair.
|Senator Stephen Brewer addresses those in attendance|
Some have questioned – rightfully so, as this is America, a country that honors dissent and challenge to its government - the reclamation and restoration of this Honor Roll in front of our newly restored Town Hall. When I reflect upon such, I am reminded of President John Kennedy’s inaugural speech wherein he said that “in the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the roll of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger, I do not shrink from that roll, I welcome it”, So too, the names of those engraved upon these plaques and many of the bricks upon which we now stand, welcomed their role and responsibility to defend freedom in its hour of maximum danger. The individuals whose service is reflected by way of their names upon this honor roll whether overseas deployed or stateside have stood as a force in readiness ever reminding the world of our commitment to liberty.
In recognition of their incredibly selfless service to our nation, one has to wonder just what type of government might have taken up residence within our newly restored Town Hall, were it not for those willing to defend freedom from those who would wish us ill.
|Project Architect Mike Loin addresses the attendees|
President Kennedy would also remind the world during his inaugural address that "...we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty".
|Some of the 300 plus in attendance|
|Sturbridge Veterans' Honor Roll|
Thomas R. Creamer, BOS Chairman & privileged American.