Veterans Day Commemoration Hall Honors Alumni Servicemen

On November 11, Headmaster Brennan welcomed students, faculty, staff, and three dozen guests—alumni, parents, grandparents—to Roxbury Latin’s annual Veterans Day Hall, which honors, as Mr. Brennan began, “those veterans who are with us, and also all those others who have served our country in peacetime and wartime over the past 250 years. Their commitment, loyalty, and service to our country, to the values for which it stands, and for each one of us ought never to be forgotten.” Several veteran alumni, parents, and former faculty members were in the audience, and invited to stand to be recognized.

Following a welcome by Mr. Brennan—which included a brief history of Armistice Day, and of the RL alumni who committed their lives to military service—came a reading by senior Cameron Estrada titled The Blue and the Gray, by Francis Miles Finch. Rousing renditions of the songs America, I Vow to Thee My Country, and God Bless America—and a performance of Waitin’ for The Dawn of Peace by the Glee Club—rounded out a celebration that culminated in three brief and powerful addresses by three RL alumni who serve, or have recently served, in the U.S. military, including Lieutenant Thomas Buckley ‘11 (Navy), Captain Colin Murphy ‘05 (Marine Corps), and Staff Officer Josh Rivers ‘11 (Army). Each of these men shared with students the very different paths that led them to military service; stories of what their experience has been like, both state-side and abroad; and how their decision to serve has affected their lives in positive ways.

In this 375th anniversary year, Roxbury Latin is honoring its alumni, in particular, as examples of leadership, service, and excellence, representing a wide range of pursuits and passions. Throughout the year these “Men of RL” are visiting campus and interacting with students in the form of Halls, performances, exhibits, panel discussions, and classroom visits. Thomas, Colin, and Josh played an important role in this series on November 11.

“Through these RL men we can draw a direct and impressive line to those WWII vets honored by the school several years ago, to four RL alumni casualties in the Civil War, and to RL’s most famous veteran, General Joseph Warren, Class of 1755, who lost his life at Bunker Hill. The inclination to serve our country is a natural extension of John Eliot’s admonition to serve as he said, ‘in Church and Commonwealth,’” said Headmaster Brennan.