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FRAMINGHAM – Yesterday, March 29, a ceremony was held at the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority to remember the Veterans of the Vietnam Era.

March 29 is National Vietnam Veterans Day. That day in March was chosen because March 29, 1973, the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes but poor is the nation that having heroes fails to remember them and honor them,” said Framingham resident and chaplain Robert Anspach. “Today, we remember the more than 58,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice as a result of the Vietnam War.”

The ceremony was held outside next to the MetroWest Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is located in front of the headquarters of the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority at 15 Blandin Avenue in Framingham. The 9-foot statue of an American soldier stands between two pillars with the names of the veterans who died in the Vietnam era.

The featured speaker was Marine Corps League National Senior Vice Commandant and Vietnam Veteran Warren Griffin of Natick.

Griffin said Vietnam Veterans were not lauded like the Veterans of World War I or World War II, but still made an impact.

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“We were not a group of returning Veterans who became a plague on society. Quite the contrary. We served our country proud. We came home and helped to build a better America for our children, our children’s children. We can hold our heads’ high and deserve the same respect as the Veterans who preceded us,” said Griffin.

Marine Corps Veteran John MacGillivray echoes the same sentiments when he spoke.

He said Vietnam Veterans had great lives after the war, despite being not well received when they returned home. He said today’s Veterans are getting better care and are better received that the Veterans of the Vietnam era.

He thanks the Veterans Service Officers and Mayor Charlie Sisitsky for their efforts on behalf of Veterans.

Mayor Sisitsky attended the ceremony yesterday morning, along with City Council Vice Chair Janet Leombruno.

Ashland Police Chief Cara Rossi, Framingham Deputy Police Chief Sean Riley, and Framingham Department of Public Works Director Bob Lewis.

Natick Director of Veteran Services and U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran Paul Carew and Framingham Veterans Services Officer Kathleen Lang, a Vietnam-era U.S. Army Veteran were also in attendance.

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Framingham Veterans Council Chair Eric Finn and Council members Bob Downing, Nick Paganella, and Dick Constant also attended the ceremony, along with several members of the Framingham Police Department. Members of the Fire Department Ed Roakes and Keith Rovinelli were the color guard for the ceremony.

“We can’t let this moment go by this morning without thanking you all for your service. But I also wanted to thank one gentleman who is not here today,” said MWRTA Director of Community Outreach Jon Fetherston, who helped to organize yesterday’s event. “This impressive facility and even more this impressive statue wouldn’t have happened, without the efforts of one individual who unfortunately could not join us here today. That is my friend Ed Carr, and American Hero. He served in Vietnam and this was his dream.”

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.