Hundreds attend local Veterans’ Day observance

“Being a veteran and being a patriot are not the same thing,” keynote speaker John Carney told the audience at yesterday’s local Veterans’ Day observance. “You need not be a veteran to be a patriot.”

In one of the best attended Veterans’ Day ceremonies in recent memory, hundreds of Wakefield citizens and patriots filled the Galvin Middle School auditorium yesterday morning to hear Carney and others pay tribute to those who have served in the armed forces of the United States.

Carney, a Vietnam Era U.S. Army veteran and a current member of the Board of Selectmen, told of being drafted just months after graduating from Wakefield High School. Carney contrasted that era and today’s state of affairs.

“Vietnam was also an unpopular war,” Carney said. “It wasn’t popular being a soldier during those times,” Carney added, recounting how the peace movement of the time tried to paint soldiers “as willful opposition to their cause.”
James Good & John Carney
Carney stressed that there are ways to be a patriot in addition to serving in the military. He urged young people in particular to “get involved” and exercise the rights that veterans have fought to defend.

“Being a patriot and loving your country does not necessarily require you to serve in the armed services,” Carney said. “It is your obligation, however, to develop opinions, speak those opinions and be sure that elected officials listen.”

State Rep. Mark Falzone also spoke at yesterday’s observance. Falzone said that, as he attended Veterans’ Day ceremonies around the region, the outpouring of support for veterans made him proud to represent those communities in the legislature.

“The unbelievable turnout we have here today and the turnout that I’ve seen all over the North Shore has been very moving,” Falzone said. “I feel like this year people are getting it. They understand that whether you believe in a war or conflict is not important on a day like today.”

Chairman of the Board of Selectmen James Good recited a quote from George Washington.

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
Good asked everyone to keep those words in mind as they honor veterans.

Good spoke of the hardships endured in the field by soldiers, who may return home and find their deeds unappreciated. Good called for renewed commitments to veterans’ health care and continued support for the families of veterans.
Jim Good - Veterans' Day 2007
“As we honor our 25 million living veterans from the Greatest Generation to the latest generation,” Good urged, “let’s stop all the political nonsense. Let’s stop the bickering. Let’s stop all the bad news. Let’s stand and fight. Isn’t that what America is all about anyway?”

Between speakers on the program, interludes of patriotic music were performed by the Wakefield High School Wind Ensemble, the WHS Chamber Singers and the Wakefield Choral Society.

In a particularly moving musical tribute, the WHS Wind Ensemble played a medley of the theme songs of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. As each theme was played, veterans in the audience who served in that branch of the armed services stood and received the applause of all in attendance.

To close the local Veteran’s Day observance, American Legion Post 63 chaplain John Bohling offered the benediction. The WHS Chamber Singers performed the National Anthem and the colors were retired by members of the American Legion.

WCAT was on hand to record video of the proceedings. Check local cable listings for dates and times of telecasts.

[This story originally appeared in the November 12, 2007 Wakefield Daily Item.]


  1. 1 Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  2. 2 Mark Sardella

    That’s fine, but this was a news story, not an opinion piece. I simply reported what happened at the Veterans’ Day ceremony.
    What do you disagree with?


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