George Washington is credited with stating and I quote, “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
In this week of Memorial Day gatherings we are priveldged to be gathered here today to demonstrate, beyond all the words of appreciation and gratitude that echoed in our communities a tangible, bold, beautiful structure in honor of our veteran, Jim Delaney, and through this action, an honor for all veterans in our Commonwealth and Country.
A bridge is a structure that is built to span obstacles for the purpose of providing safe passage. Jim’s service from Macinaw Island, to Iwo Jima to Korea certainly spanned obstacles but the safe passage through his courage and actions were clearly not for himself given his Purple Hearts, but for his comrades and his Country.
And now, hundreds and thousands of people will pass the James Delaney II bridge everyday and know that our community and Commonwealth honors the service of our veterans. For those of us living in Needham, as you travel over this bridge, be thoughtful of Jim and all the veterans whose service made it possible for you to have safe passage to your safe home.