FRAMINGHAM – For the second consecutive year, giant wreaths were placed at the City of Framingham’s cemeteries to honor Veterans.
“We do this for the Veterans of the city, the ones that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Framingham Police Lt. Robert Downing, a U.S. Army Veteran, who was one of the organizers.
“During the holidays, we wanted to do something special for the Veterans in the city. We hope to continue this annually,” saId Lt. Downing.
The wreaths were paid for by Councilor Ottaviani and his wife Valerie, and Charlie Rousseau paid for the wreaths, said Lt. Downing.
With the help of DPW employees, the first wreath was placed at Veteran Memorial Park, next to the district courthouse in Framingham.
From there, a motorcade led by Framingham Police motorcycles, and a fire engine driven by Assistant Fire Chief John Schultz made its way to St Tarcisius Cemetery.
Wreaths were placed at all the major cemeteries in the City, including Edgell Grove Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground Cemetery, which was established in 1698.
Mayor Charlie Sisitsky, joined Councilors Ottaviani and Janet Leombruno at the cemeteries.
Councilor Leombruno, like she did the first year, climbed the wall at St. Stephen’s Cemetery, to help secure the wreath to the tree, with the help of DPW employees.
“Thank you for participating today,” said Mayor Sisitsky to the volunteers at the final stop at Edwards Cemetery. “This is so important that we remember our veterans every chance we get. It is important that we do this. Thank you all for your participation, coming out today on such a cold day, but it’s a beautiful way to celebrate the season this way for our community. So thank you all very much.”
Lt. Downing, a newly-appointed Veterans Council member, was joined by recently appointed Veterans Council members Nick Paganella and Scott Hayes, and current Veterans Council member Gerry Blanchette.
Cemetery Trustees Paganella and John Feeney also visited the cemeteries as wreaths were placed early Saturday morning.
Boy Scout Nick Swan helped DPW employees with the final wreath at Edwards Cemetery.
“This wouldn’t be possible, without everyone here today. The Mayor, the Councilors, the Framingham Police and Framingham Fire,” said Lt. Downing. “Framingham DPW, the Veterans Council, the City’s VSO Kathy Lang, The Rousseau family, Nick Pagnanella, the Framingham Source. This is a collaborative effort.”