Town holds dedication ceremony for War on Terror monument 

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    Town Manager Michael Borg addresses more than 50 people who attended the official ceremony for the town’s new War on Terror monument, held on Jan. 20. Staff Photo/Adam Bass
    North Attleboro - Plainville Rotary Club is seeking out this year's Rotary Club distinguished Service Awards Recipients

    abass@northstarreporter.com 

    In November 2023, North Attleborough received a new monument that honored those who fought in the War on Terror. 

    Two months after its arrival, the town held a dedication ceremony for that memorial, which is now located at Barrows Park.

    Over 50 people filled the lobby at Town Hall on Saturday, Jan. 20 for the ceremony. Most of those in attendance were veterans who served in previous wars going as far back as World War II. Veterans Agent Steven Travers hosted the ceremony and invited veterans and town officials to speak about the importance of the new monument.

    Town Manager Michael Borg said the monument reminded him of his service as a colonel in the army and his son, who recently joined the armed forces. Borg himself was deployed to Iraq during the War on Terror, leading battalions and helping rebuild towns throughout the country. He said it was through his experience in Iraq that he learned how to be a leader.

    “The camaraderie and the bond that formed in the toughest of times have been the source of strength and inspiration in my own life,” Borg said. “These experiences shaped my approach to leadership and community service. Reinforcing my commitment to the Town of North Attleborough and its people.”

    It was the town’s Veterans Advisory Board which came up with the idea of a monument dedicated to those who fought in the War on Terror. The original proposal was paused during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the board restarted the project and donations came in. One of these donors was Tom Tullie of California. Tullie, who grew up in North Attleborough, is the son of Tom Tullie Sr., the town’s former veterans agent. Tullie Sr. served in the Navy and passed away in 2022. When Tullie heard about the memorial, he was inspired to help raise money for the project.

    “It’s so great to be here today,” Tullie said. “When my dad passed away a couple years ago, I was looking for a way to enhance his memory. He did a lot for the community.”

    The memorial also received funding through a state earmark worth $10,000 in the fiscal year 2024 budget secured by state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough). In his speech, Scanlon said he did not have a clear memory of the events of Sept.11, 2001, as he was 5 years old at the time. Scanlon, like many members of Generation Z, said he learned about the War on Terror through school programs to honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001. He told the crowd that he gained respect and reverence for those who served, and dedicated the funding to the veterans of North Attleborough.

    “As a student in middle school, we heard about the untimely and unfortunate passing of Kyle Van De Giesen—a former North Attleborough High School football quarterback who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009,” Scanlon said. “That moment at our school took a lot of time, energy, and passion to remember his efforts and his family’s efforts, and that truly left an impact on me.”

    After the ceremony, those attending had the chance to visit the memorial at Barrows Park. One veteran, who goes by “Double D,” said the monument meant more than just recognizing his efforts in the War on Terror. For Double D, the memorial was a symbol that honored his fallen comrades and reminded him that the town cares for him and his fellow veterans.

    “Our mission continues and we will not surrender,” he said. “It means everything. On dark nights, the biggest thoughts for me were if anybody cares and if my time here matters to everyone. When I drive to a monument, it tells me that at least the individuals in this room have not forgotten, that I am not forgotten and that my soldiers are not forgotten.”