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A celebration 200 years in the making

November 12, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The Americans couldn’t make up their minds about fighting the British. And some on the British side thought they were done fighting Americans during the revolution.
But by the time it was over, the War of 1812 ended up cementing America’s place in the pantheon of world powers, opening a gateway to an era of epic economic expansion for the young nation.
And, as a little side benefit, it gave us the national anthem.
Frank Daly’s history lesson was the centerpiece of yesterday’s Veterans Day tribute outside the Museum of Work and Culture, a celebration that included patriotic songs, speeches and poetry before a crowd of roughly 150 people.
A throng of dignitaries was on hand for the affair, including newly re-elected U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, United Veterans Council President Richard Schatz, State Sens. Marc Cote and Roger Picard, Rep.-elect Stephen Casey and members of the City Council and School Committee.
“We enjoy tremendous freedoms in this country because of the sacrifices of our veterans and their families,” said Rep. Cicilline.
They deserve our loudest thanks, says Cicilline, but the country must also put its money where its mouth is by upholding policies and passing budgets to support health care, counseling, employment and other programs to support veterans.
“It took me 40 years to find out I had PTSD,” said Woonsocket’s Veterans Affairs Advisor Ernest Boisvert. “Why? Because I was too proud.”

Read more in our print edition.

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