"Every day in Newton is Veterans Day."
It's a statement made a many ceremonies in Newton, and one that was repeated yesterday at the American Legion Post 440.
"As John [MacGillivray] and the mayor said, every day in Newton should be Veterans Day and in America, every day should be Veterans Day," said Dan Magoon, an Army veteran, Boston firefighter and representative from the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes. "Today I want to thank veterans of every service and remember the ones we've lost. To me and to many Americans, it's a day to pay thanks to your neighbor, your teacher and in some cases, your politician, your firefighters, your cops; the men and women who have served this great nation."
Despite the lack of electricity at the legion hall, there was a great pride in the building Friday morning; multiple generations stood up to thank and honor the many Garden City veterans.
"We celebrate today the freedoms that we have and we also should recommit ourselves to ensuring that this country remains great," said Mayor Setti Warren, a member of the Navy and Iraq War veteran.
Earlier this week, an electrical issue at the hall knocked out power for Post 440, and the issue had not yet been resolved as of Friday. The turnout for the ceremony, though, was still impressive.
One of the ceremony's guests included Army Sgt. Cassandra Benes, a Newton North graduate and medic who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Benes is a recipient of the purple heart and, only the second woman in Massachusetts to receive the "bittersweet honor."
Prior to the speaking program, guests and veterans met outside the legion for a prayer, the playing of taps and for the first time, an appearance from a firing squad. Members of the Newton Police and Fire Department Honor Guards also assisted during the ceremonies.
According to John MacGillivray, the city's Veterans Service Officer, a traveling memorial provided by the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes will be on display in Newton City Hall now through December. The interactive memorial honors those members of the military who have lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.