With a mighty tug, the makeshift curtain shielding Saugus High School’s latest endeavor to give back to the community was taken off.
Under the large blue and silver colored sheet was a mural surrounding more than 240 names of former students who have served in the American armed forces.
“We’ve installed banners on the buildings, and light poles on our campus,” said Saugus Principal Bill Bolde of longstanding efforts to honor outstanding alumni who chose to attend four-year universities.
“There are many other students who graduate from this campus, our school who are choosing a different calling,” he said.
“Theirs is a call to action.”
Bolde said a decision was made to establish a location on the campus to honor the men and woman who turned to active service to represent the United States around the world.
“They’ve engaged in combat, they’ve stood a post, they’ve given their best and sacrificed beyond any kind of comprehension,” he said of the honorees.
“In the case of three former Centurions, they gave their very lives so we could have liberty for all.”
The longtime principal turned teary-eyed as he introduced senior Steven Plante, a student who led the effort to erect the monument.
“I did this for other people,” Plante said. “I love them and I appreciate them for what they do for this country.
The student struggled to hold back tears as he spoke about the project to the crowd of about 200.
“The service that all of you provide for us means the world to us and I just wanted you to know we appreciate you and that we’d have nothing without you,” Plante said.
A standing ovation followed the high school senior’s words. In an ode to three families who had lost young men to battle, Bolde offered words of strength.
“May we always remember that freedom is never free,” Bolde said.
“We owe our way of life to those who have served.”
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