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Tewksbury Celebrates Its Veterans

Check out our photos from the Senior Center, Heatherwood and today’s wreath laying at the Town Common

Tewksbury recognized its veterans at a wreath-laying ceremony today. The town also held a breakfast at the Senior Center on Wednesday, and veterans — two of them centenarians — living in the Heatherwood Gracious Retirement Living facility were honored on Friday morning.

The Tewksbury Swinging Seniors, TMHS Chorus, Tewksbury Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, V.F.W. Post 8164, and Tewksbury Police and Fire Honor Guards took part in today’s ceremony.

Mr. Reverend Baxter Chism of Tewksbury Congregational Church gave the opening prayer, and Vinnie Oliva, VFW Commander Post 8164, was the guest speaker.

Select Board member Jayne Wellman welcomed attendees on behalf of the town:

Good morning. I stand before you today filled with pride and gratitude. On this day, in this month, our nation remembers the moment when the guns of World War I went silent. We come together to honor and celebrate the brave men and women who have selflessly served our nation.

Tewksbury is a town steeped in history and resilience, and is a place where community matters. From the halls of Tewksbury Memorial High School to the heart of our neighborhoods, Veterans’ contributions are woven into the very fabric of our Town.

To our veterans: Your service is etched into Tewksbury’s heart. You’ve stood tall in the face of adversity, and your sacrifices resonate across our town, our state, and our nation. Let us also remember the families—the spouses who held down the fort, the parents who waited anxiously, and the children who missed bedtime stories. Their sacrifices are the silent strength behind our veterans.

The defense of freedom is not just for those in the military; each of us shares that responsibility, in part, by putting those freedoms into action — by voting in elections or speaking out against injustices. We must also ensure that everyone feels the benefits of freedom. And we can do that by volunteering in our communities or teaching our children what it really means to be an American.

Veterans’ Day isn’t just a day for veterans, it’s a day for all Americans. It’s a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey of protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations. The Town will continue to work tirelessly for our veterans. Tewksbury is a town that honors its heroes not just on Veterans Day but every day.

In closing, let us not just offer a “thank you.” Let us engage, listen, and learn from our veterans. Their stories are our shared legacy—the triumphs, the struggles, and the unbreakable bonds forged in service. By carrying their stories forward, we ensure that their legacy lives on. Thank you, veterans. On behalf of the Select Board and our community, we thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your enduring spirit. May Tewksbury forever be a beacon of gratitude and support for those who wore the uniform.

Ken Lombardi, United States Army, performed Taps.

See photos from all three events here.

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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