Westborough residents paused at four honored locations Monday morning to reflect on servicemen and women past and present.
The town's Veterans Day observance included wreath ceremonies at Pine Grove Cemetery; the Vietnam Memorial; and the World War I, World War II, Korean War and Gulf War memorials.
Veterans Agent/Director of Veterans Services George Perry III thanked the veterans at each stop.
"It's been a great, great Veterans Day," Perry said.
At Pine Grove, state Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) said that “many of us take Veterans Day as a time of reflection."
“I remember being a student, a young student in France, walking around Paris and being approached by a French stranger who had heard us speaking English, and just was expressing such gratitude for America and for the United States having come to French aid during World War II.
“At the time, I don’t think I truly appreciated what he was saying to me, the magnitude of that.”
The Rev. Elaine Gaetani, associate pastor of the Congregational Church of Westborough, said that on Sunday, her church “devoted our entire service to all of you and to all of our veterans."
Then, Gold Star Mother Rita Lee joined Selectmen Chairman Leigh Emery and Selectman Denny Drewry in presented a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial.
Wreaths were placed at memorials during each part of Monday's observance.
During the ceremony at the memorials at the Forbes Municipal Building, the crowd heard from grand marshal Bill Carr. Rep. Matthew Beaton (R-Shrewsbury) presented Carr a citation from the state House of Representatives. Beaton said Selectman Denny Drewry will pass along another citation to James Zographos, who was named a grand marshal but recently became ill with pneumonia and was unable to attend.
State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said it was “important on this date to give pause to the freedoms that our brave service men and women sought to protect."
Those included "the broadest freedoms in the world, freedoms many of which are found in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights: freedom of speech -- the right to say anything we wish, including to criticize our own government; freedom of religion-- the right to practice any religion we wish; and the freedom of assembly – the right to gather just as we are right now, to meet on any principle or any value that better supports America," Eldridge said.
Eldridge said the public must work to better support veterans, “especially those who have come back from great harm and have great health problems.”