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Scenes of New England Photo Gallery:  Celebrating Veterans Day, Walpole, MA
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Veterans Day, Thanks to Military Vets, Walpole, MA

Veterans Day, Veterans Monument, Walpole, MA (photo by Eric H.)

Article and photos by Eric H., lifelong New England native

Veterans Day comes only once a year in November, but, to us, everyday is Veterans Day.  We feel that it is
imperative to thank a veteran for their service at every opportunity, given their brave mission to protect our freedoms.  Here in Walpole, MA, a few hundred people, of all ages, turned out to pay their respects to our local military vets.  This day meant so much to our valorous Soldiers who beamed with pride and gratitude when locals, who were never in the military, thanked them for their service. Harrowing experiences from Omaha Beach to Iraq were unforgettable for our local Soldiers, but to be here to talk about it today must have felt like a blessing.  It was for us, too -- the townsfolk who used this day in the right way (not as just a day off) to meet these heroes who stood in harm's way to keep us safe..

Walpole is proud of their veterans, as evidenced by plaques and memorials on the downtown town commons.  A few days before Veterans Day, local townsfolk and altruistic local businesses helped restore the  century-old Bird Fountain (see picture below) with funds donated in memory of  Lt. Andrew Bacevich -- a Walpole native who lost his life last year on Mother's Day while trying to protect a fellow Soldier from a suicide bombing attack.  The town common (actually one of three town commons, downtown) is beautiful with its revived fountain, old-fashioned street lamps, new walkways, manicured landscaping, benches and green grass (for now, anyway, in the late fall), but the message is even more beautiful:  towns like Walpole truly care about their vets.

It's easy to get grumpy about the high cost of living, rising crime rates, a  troubling decline in our society's values, morals and ethics, and proper lack of town funding from the state, but coming to events like this -- that celebrates our great military -- really puts things in perspective. Where would we be without our military, and where would be be without events like this that bring people close together to validate that there is still community pride resonating in our small New England towns?  The answer is quite clear.  Thank-you, military vets, for serving and reminding us what's most important in our daily lives.



Andrew Bacevich Military Memorial, Walpole, MA

Restored Bird Fountain, in memory of Lt. Andrew Bacevich (photo by Eric H.)

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