Seekonk residents gathered at the public safety complex on Thursday to honor the memory of the victims in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to support America's veterans and members of the military on active duty.
David Viera, a military veteran as well as former town selectman and fire chief, said it is important to remember the terrorist attacks that happened 11 years ago this week so that something like that is never repeated.
"And this country is too great to go through that kind of tragedy," he said.
Viera reflected on the Vietnam War era, when he said members of the military were afraid to be in uniform in public because they feared being called names or spit on. He said when people see men and women in uniform, they should not be afraid "to approach them, stick out your hand and thank them for their service."
"It's sad that people have to stand up at the front lines, give up their lives to maintain the best country in the world—the United States of America," Viera said. "But if that's what we have to do, that's what we'll do and every time we're needed, we'll be there."
The event hosted by Town Clerk Jan Parker included a police and fire honor guard as well as the performance of patriotic songs by the Brass Ensemble. Additional speakers included Fire Chief Alan Jack, Police Chief Ronald Charron, Rep. Steve Howitt, Sen. James Timilty and Seekonk Veterans agent Seth Bai.
"As we honor the 23 million living veterans, from the Greatest Generation to the latest generation, let us never forget this debt that is earned," Bai said. "No government commission or single dollar amount can adequately repay what has been given to us throughout all of our nation's history. Through their blood, their sacrifice and their service, veterans have given us freedom, security and the greatest nation on Earth. It is impossible to put a price on that."