PEPPERELL -- The town's veterans were honored Monday with ceremonies at the VFW and across from Town Hall, with gratitude expressed for the service of all those who have sacrificed.
Post Commander Joe Moore led the ceremonies, which included a moment of silence, prayers, the laying of a wreath and a gun salute.
"Today we honor every man and every woman who proudly wore the uniform and bravely defended our nation while protecting its people from the evils of the world. Every American, no matter where they live or what they do, reaps the benefits of their service," Moore said.
"As we honor them, we should also reflect on the many costs attached to our victories of obtaining the many liberties we have today because of their unselfishness and sacrifices," he said.
The ceremony was preceded by a veterans' breakfast at the VFW attended by about 100 people.
"I'm so happy to see so many people out here," Moore said. "It's an outstanding day for us in honoring our veterans," he said.
He closed the ceremony by encouraging all in attendance to reach out to those who have served in our nation's military.
"I hope that if you see a veteran who needs a little help, you lend a hand and say thank you," Moore said.
Veteran Ken English Jr., who served in both Vietnam and Iraq, said that every Veterans Day he comes to the VFW, where his name is engraved in the town's Vietnam War Memorial.
"Every time I come, I look at the wall and think of the people I grew up with and served with. Some of them are gone," English said.
The VFW also recognized the work of Justin Stoffolano, a member of Troop 260 in Brookline, N.H., who constructed a retaining wall at the VFW for his Eagle Scout project.
The 50-foot-long wall will help to prevent soil erosion at the VFW, Stoffolano said.
He chose to do a project benefiting the VFW in part because of the organization's involvement in the local schools, Stoffolano said.
"You guys left a message with me, and it wasn't one just about service. We definitely honor the veterans and the ones who have sacrificed the most for this country. But it was also an idea of civil service, an idea that, for us in this country to succeed, we need to be a part of it, and participate and care for it. You guys taught me good citizenship," Stoffolano said.
Through a spaghetti supper at the VFW and collection of donations around town, Stoffolano raised more than $1,000 to construct the wall, which he did with the help of friends and fellow Scouts.
Stoffolano's father, Brad Stoffolano, who serves in the Air Force Reserves, said he is proud of the work his son has done.
"I think he did a beautiful job. It was a great project and showed good leadership," he said.
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