November 6 2019

Burlington Veterans Day Program and Guest Speaker


Burlington will honor everyone who serves or has served in the United States Armed Services with a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 11 starting at 10 a.m. on the Town Common. 


The opening statements will be delivered by Burlington Veterans Services Director Christopher. The Allied Veterans Counsel will then perform a flag raising followed by a rendition of The National Anthem by the Burlington High School Marching Band. 


Chaplain Rev. Francesco Passamonte will deliver the Invocation and Sarah Quinlan will read a proclamation from Governor Charles Baker. 


The guest speaker this year is Vietnam Veteran Fred Shine. Burlington’s Veterans Services provided the following biography: 


“Fred Shine was born and raised in Wilmington, MA, and graduated from Wilmington High School in 1967. He immediately enlisted in the Navy and spent two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1968- 1970. Upon leaving the Navy, Mr. Shine attended and graduated from Middlesex Community College and attended Boston College until he founded his own Direct Mail Company. He moved to Burlington in 1976, with his wife Karen and his two children, who both graduated from Burlington High School. Mr. Shine retired after 28 years as a business owner, and dedicates his time volunteering.”


“Mr. Shine started his volunteer work after getting out of the Navy. In the late 1970's, he helped re-establish the disbanded Disabled American Veterans chapter in Wilmington and was Commander for 9 consecutive years. He was also the Aid to the Massachusetts State Commander. Sadly the Wilmington chapter of the DAV disbanded and Mr. Shine transferred his lifetime DAV membership to the Burlington William Hurley Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.”


“Mr. Shine has dealt with the prolonged effects of being a Vietnam Veteran his entire life. He is a cancer survivor, from Agent Orange, lives with PTSD, and still mourns the loss of dear friends from the Vietnam War. Upon returning from Vietnam, Veterans were not given a hero’s welcome, and were often treated with distain. Many Vietnam Veterans felt like outcasts, and those that were proud of their service to their Country were made to think that it was "socially unacceptable". Veterans like Mr. Shine were instrumental in giving fallen Vietnam Veterans the recognition that they deserved. Mr. Shine was the driving force behind the building of four monuments in Wilmington, dedicated to Wilmington's four heroes killed in Action in Vietnam.”


“Mr. Shine lost a total of seven childhood friends in Vietnam, 4 from Wilmington and 3 from Tewksbury. He has remained the sole driving force to keep their memories alive, by speaking at the Wilmington High School for over 10 years, Shawsheen Tech for over 3 years, and has spoken at Tewksbury and Burlington High Schools. He remains very active in helping veterans in many ways.”


Following the guest speaker there will be a Placing of the Wreath ceremony as well as performances of the Armed Forces Tribute and Performing The Float by the BHS Marching Band. Chaplain Passamonte will offer the Closing Prayer and Joseph McGrath will end the ceremony with a performance of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. 


The ceremony is being hosted by the Town of Burlington's Veteran Service Office and The Allied Veterans Council.


Following the ceremony, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Burlington Scouts will be launching rockets in honor of veterans at the field behind the Human Services Building at 61 Center Street.


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