Wellesley remembers its veterans

Wellesley’s police and firemen observe the ceremony. Photos by James Kinneen

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On Thursday in front of the Town War Memorial Site, Wellesley held its Lest We Forget Memorial Day Service in honor of the town citizens that have died fighting for their country. With the Fire and Police honor guards and Wellesley High School band on hand, various representatives and veterans spoke in honor of the fallen.

USMC veteran Larry Fitzmaurice was the day’s guest speaker. He noted how times have changed in terms of how we treat our veterans since the Vietnam era, noting that if you have an issue with a war, your issue is with the government, not with the warrior. “It’s very refreshing to me,” he added, “to be at an airport and see a guy in cammies getting told ‘thank you for your service.’”

Veterans salute the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. Photos by James Kinneen.

Veterans salute the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. Photos by James Kinneen.

One way of honoring the military service of others is through the War Memorial Scholarship Award. Presented by Jack Morgan, this year’s winners were Wellesley seniors Phil Simpson and Samantha Neilson. Neilson, who is headed to NYU in the fall, had an uncle was in the Navy. She is also a competitive dancer, first chair in the wind ensemble, and has done so many other extracurricular activities that Morgan acknowledged: “I’m going to have to abbreviate some of this.”

Headed to WPI in the fall where he will be a member of the ROTC program, Simpson competed in academic decathlon, excelled in AP Calculus and Economics, and occasionally makes music himself and uploads it to the internet. His uncle was an Army chaplain in Korea.

One of Wellesley’s firemen stoically watches the memorial. Photos by James Kinneen.

One of Wellesley’s firemen stoically watches the memorial. Photos by James Kinneen.

After the two had been awarded, the names of Wellesley’s fallen servicemen were read, a moment of silence was held, a couple members of the Wellesley High School Band played Taps - with one trumpeter on the top of the hill echoing the other on the bottom.

Finally, as has become tradition, Lorelei King read the poem “Please Remember Me” by John DeRusso. At Thursday’s poignant remembrance, Wellesley did its best to make sure its fallen soldiers wouldn’t need to ask.

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