Veterans Gather Together for the 17th Year

Holliston veterans came out in force on Saturday under sunny skies at the Afghanistan/Iraq Memorial at Blair Square. After a brief service, veterans marched up Central Street to the WWI/WWII Memorial at the corner of Washington and Hollis Streets for another brief ceremony.

Legion Vice Commander Rich Finn (right) and VFW Commander David Deganne present wreath at town hall

Only eight WWII veterans remain living in town. Onward to town hall where American Legion Commander/VFW Chaplain, Ron Turcotte read an opening prayer. The presentation of the wreath was handled by VFW Commander Dave DeGanne and Legion Vice Commander Rich Finn. After a rifle salute, 83-year-old Joe Cibotti played taps. Veterans then assembled on town hall steps for a class photo, this year was the first year that no WWII veterans were present.

Inside upper town hall Bobby Blair told veterans that the Christmas Cactus on each table could be taken home by the oldest veteran at the table. He also gave thanks to Police Chief Matt Stone who was not in the audience for bringing the entire police force out to march in the years Memorial Day Parade, Blair stated that he had not seen the entire department march since Henry Holbrook was chief and realized what a difficult task this was with rotating shifts.

Steve Bradford thanked the Holliston Lions and Leos for serving the meal and cleaning up, TC Scoops for their donation of ice cream and the select board for the use of the hall. TJ’s of Ashland served a full course turkey dinner.

Veterans dine below at historic town hall on November 11th

Representative James Arena DeRosa and Select Board Chairman John Cronin addressed the veterans. Senate President Karen Spilka send along her regards.

The idea for a Veterans Day dinner came about 17 years ago with the idea to get a group photo of WWII veterans and has now become a local tradition. The costs for the days event are shared by the Legion, Holliston Lions, VFW, and yearly contributor navy veteran Capt. Donald Bates (ret.)

All photos courtesy of Paul Saulnier – Thank you

Bobby Blair


  1. william duffy on November 12, 2023 at 10:26 am

    A large Thank you to all who have served! To the 8 remaining WWII veterans God Bless you and a huge Thank you! You were part of the greatest generation. You saved in the world in WWII, and set a stand all veterans continue to exhibit. We owe you a debt we can never repay!

    Thanks and God bless.

  2. Mark+Ahronian on November 12, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    What a wonderful event for our Veterans !
    We all could never thank you enough !!

  3. Melissa Ford on November 12, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    So proud Holliston continues this tradition. Our United States veterans are such an important part of our Holliston fabric. Let us not ever lose that pride in these brave men and women who fought for our freedom. Let us share this with our children and grandchildren so the knowledge lives on!

  4. J.S.V. on November 13, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    What an event! For those that skipped this year, due to last year’s one hour of internal speeches and sales pitches. You missed out! They changed the format!!! It was great!! The speeches, the very few of them, were kept to less than two minutes a person, so the entire event was focused on its true mission. Meeting and connecting with Veterans from town, as well as seeing yourself advance in years, and passing the torch to the younger generations. It was exceptionally well done. Mark your calendar for next year, as you will not want to miss it.

    A special thank you to the following:
    Bobby Blair & Steve Bradford. Thank you so much to you, the Legion, and the V, for putting this together for us. You do so every year, and we appreciate it. A very special thank you for removing 90% of the speeches so we could focus our time in getting to knowing everyone so much better. Class act. Well done.

    Lions & LEOs. Amazing turn out on your part, and everyone was amazingly friendly and polite. At my table, everyone was so impressed how the students were able to communicate to others without having to hide behind a phone.

    The food. Great food. Well done. Same with the ice cream, cookies, other snacks, and associated drinks.

    The town. We very much appreciate your support, not only on Veteran’s Day and on Memorial Day; but, the entire year round. I wish other towns in the area would follow your example.

    On the side, WWII veterans are sadly passing away due to something none of us can escape, and that is time. I believe there are less than ten now that remain, so please keep these special Veterans in your hearts, as they will not be with us much longer.

    Thank you again to everyone for making the day so very memorable.

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