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VFW Post 3291 once again wishes to acknowledge and thank the community of Pepperell for hosting and participating in an outstanding and moving series of events and ceremonies this past Memorial Day weekend.

We want to thank Sue Hamil and the Student Council at North Middlesex High for a beautiful and moving program on Friday the 27th. We thank Diane Gleason and the Nissitissit Middle School choir for their hospitality, breakfast and musical program presented to active-duty personnel from Hanscom AFB and Fort Devens along with local veterans, also on Friday.

The Varnum Brook School hosted the same group of military people with a musical and selected reading program that was quite stunning. The gym and bleachers were full with parents and guests and every possible parking space was used.

Dr. Cormier’s leadership and the talent and energy of Carolyn Kalil and Jennifer Ellars made this year’s program a benchmark for heartfelt appreciation and excellence.

The children did a vocal version of taps and you could “hear a pin drop.” On Saturday, Girl and Boy Scouts once again placed flags on veterans’ graves at the Park Street cemetery and we thank them and their parents for taking this obligation to heart.

We thank the Prudence Wright Chapter of the DAR that hosted all the Scouts and also provided a historical presentation that included Sue Smith in period costume, who portrayed Prudence Wright, and Julia Stockwell who gave us the history of the DAR building and the Chapter.

We thank Lorri Guarnieri and the volunteers from Our Lady of Grace Parish who helped place flags at St. Joseph’s cemetery for the first time this year and hope they will continue in the future. We thank Merle Green of 1A Auto for the generous use of his “classic convertibles” in the parade. This year they carried many of Pepperell’s World War II vets.

We thank Selectman Mike Green for the moving story of his family’s military service and we thank Selectman Joe Sergi for once again helping secure and then coordinating the spectacular “two-pass” flyover on Monday with the U.S. Air Force’s 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Field in Westover.

We thank LTC Warren Bacote, commander U.S. Army Garrison Devens, for marching with us in the rain and we thank state Rep. Sheila Harrington for stopping and speaking in Pepperell on what had to be a very busy and hectic day for her.

In my opinion, Pepperell is the kind of community with the kind of people Norman Rockwell had in mind when he represented our American culture. Pepperell should quite simply “take a bow.” We are proud to be a small part of this remarkably patriotic community. God bless you all.

TONY SABOLIAUSKAS

on behalf of Pepperell VFW Post 3291