Natick, Mass. -- A day highlighting the service of our Nation's military, Veterans Day represents selfless sacrifice and commitment to duty. This year's observance held special significance, as the holiday coincided with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. To highlight the occasion, NSSC leadership hit the road November 11 to share the true meaning of Veterans Day with the communities of Wayland, Natick, and Braintree, Mass.
Addressing the crowd in Wayland, Mass., Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Pintagro, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Natick, spoke to the accomplishments of Veterans past, touching on the history of World War I and the contributions of Massachusetts to the war effort.
"Just over a century ago, Congress declared war on Germany, and subsequently Austria-Hungary, triggering a wave of patriotic frenzy and the greatest mobilization of Americans since the Civil War. Like the Civil War, what became known as the Great War and later World War I, touched the lives of virtually every American," said Pintagro.
"All told, American Doughboys -- 108 of them from Wayland -- fought in 13 campaigns during the conflict. By war's end, the U.S. suffered more than 300,000 casualties -- which counts missing and wounded -- including nearly 120,000 deaths, in a conflict that proved yet more devastating to Europe and perhaps cataclysmic for Western civilization itself. Four of the fallen were from Wayland," said Pintagro.
Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, senior commander, NSSC, addressed those attending the Town of Natick Veterans Day observance at the Morse Institute Library in Natick, Mass.
"From the Minutemen who won our independence to today's warriors deterring aggression all around the world, the generations of patriots who dedicated themselves to the defense of our country make us stronger and more resilient as a nation," said Malone.
"Veterans have served in different places and in different ways, but serve they have," said Malone. "They have not only fought our wars, they have preserved the peace, whether in faraway lands or here at home. They have lived uncommon lives under a common banner: a love of country and service to our nation. Therefore, it is fitting that we pause as a nation to recognize their service and sacrifices."
Lt. Col. Bryan Martin, garrison commander, USAG Natick, echoed this sentiment during his remarks at Braintree Town Hall in Braintree, Mass.
"Right now, all around the country, veterans serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, community leaders, first responders, and even elected officials," said Martin. "They continue to serve our country by making a positive impact, building stronger futures and inspiring future generations. As we take time today to think about those who serve and protect our way of life and national interest, let's dedicate ourselves to honor their sacrifice by doing right by each other, by looking after that neighbor or stranger."
Young men and women from Natick, Braintree, and Wayland have answered our Nation's call since the Revolutionary War and continue to do so today.
"Our Soldiers represent the best our Nation has to offer," said Malone. "They are the heart, the soul, and the spirit of the greatest Nation on the planet. They carry on the proud legacy and traditions of our Nation's Veterans who have throughout our history, kept us free, returned home and continued to serve our Nation in a multitude of ways. Today, we say thanks to them all."