By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The Westwood Council on Aging hosted their annual Veterans Breakfast this past Friday, May 26th. This free, full breakfast honored those who served, and their respected families, in reverence for Memorial Day. Director of Westwood Council on Aging, Lina Arena-DeRosa, streamlined this event and was absolutely thrilled with the turnout.
The room was overflowing with honored veterans and those who are extremely grateful for their service to our country. While all enjoyed their breakfast, Veterans Service Officer and Marine Major TJ Tedeschi, spoke of his outstanding career and service throughout the years. He discussed the history of Memorial Day, and went on to specifically name and thank those who served from the Westwood area.
Regarding this, Tedeschi commented, “Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, Major General John A. Logan stated, ‘We will establish a decoration day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.’ The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery. But Arlington is not considered the birthplace. The birthplace is Waterloo, New York. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson declared that.”
Deeply touched by Tedeschi’s words and praises, attendees were fixated on him while he spoke. To conclude his speech, Tedeschi declared, “This is a time of remembrance, of observation. Lastly, when I was in those three wars and those thirty countries preparing for the warriors to protect their homeland, it was said to me, by the old guys, that eventually you will start remembering the good and forgetting the bad. And I can say that’s true. And in the support I can see in this room, is a forcible compiler for healing. There is a lot of healing at this time of the year. You are what keeps America strong.”
State Representative, Paul McMurtry, stopped by the event to share his thanks for those who had served. With high praise, he commented, “This just really optimizes what Westwood is all about. For us to take a moment to pause, to reflect, to thank the men and women who sacrificed their lives while wearing the uniform of our country. … We are so grateful that we live in this incredible community, incredible commonwealth, and incredible country, thanks to our veterans.”
The Westwood COA will host their next Veterans Breakfast in the fall.