Michael Puzo Welcomes Veterans to Hingham’s Observance of Memorial Day

May 27, 2024
May 27, 2024
11:00 AM EDT

Hemenway & Barnes Partner and Hingham Town Moderator, Michael J. Puzo, welcomed veterans, their families, and all members of the public at Hingham’s Annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 27, 2024. Hosted by the Town of Hingham Department of Veterans’ Services and the Hingham Veterans’ Council, the service featured the reading of names of Hingham Veterans who have passed since Memorial Day last year, along with a wreath-laying ceremony.

Michael greeted those assembled with these opening remarks:

We gather as we rightly do each year ---- to express as a community our gratitude for those men and women who have given their lives, so that we can live ours in the safety and peace that was intended for all members of the human family.

We know that, as much as we yearn for peace and tranquility, ours is a dangerous world – a world in which those who seek to do us harm would resort to violent means to do so – and would succeed – were it not for fellow citizens willing to defend our nation – our people – our way of life – including at the cost of their own lives.

One hundred forty years ago – on May 30, 1884 – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. stood before a crowd at a GAR Hall in Keene, New Hampshire.

Holmes recounted a question that had been posed by a young man. With the Civil War then almost 20 years past, the young man had asked,

*Why do people still keep up Memorial Day?*

As a Civil War veteran who had seen the horror of war first-hand, Holmes considered the question from a perspective beyond his own. Beyond that of a man – to quote him – who judged Memorial Day as “Sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth”

Rather, to those assembled on that May day in another small New England town – Holmes gave an answer to that young man’s question that is as true today as it was in 1884.

He said to those then present – and he says to us today

"Memorial Day is the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for the country in return.


Holmes continued


“To the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up, we may answer, because it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself to a course, perhaps a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out. All that is required of you is that you should go somewhither as hard as ever you can.”


It is to honor and to remember those fellow citizens, who – whether in war or peace – took on the rigors and the dangers inherent in military service – who acted with enthusiasm and faith and, in doing so, acted greatly – who committed themselves to a course that was, indeed, a long and hard one and to a cause and for a purpose for which they gave their very lives.

So, it is right and it is fitting that we gather today – and that we do so next year and the next and the next – to honor all men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice in the defense of our country.

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Michael Puzo Welcomes Veterans to Hingham’s Observance of Memorial Day
Hemenway & Barnes Partner and Hingham Town Moderator, Michael J. Puzo, will welcome veterans, their families, and all members of the public at Hingham’s Annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 27, 2024.