Watertown has a long tradition of military service right from the beginning of the country. Monday, the town paid tribute to those servicemen and women, including those who paid the ultimate price.
The keynote speaker at the Memorial Day Observance was retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” Huckabee. The Watertown resident had two stints in the military, totaling 23 years, and in between he helped bring an NFL franchise to Tampa and worked for the Buccaneers. Then he went back and joined the special forces and served in the 82nd Airborne.
Watertown lost some citizens during the early days of the Revolutionary war.
“On America’s Roll of honor is that of Joseph Coolidge, who, in 1775, was Watertown’s tax collector,” Huckabee said. “When the alarm was spread that the British were on the march on the 10th of April, he shouldered his musket and curried off toward Lexington and Concord with his militia unit and was killed later that day along the Battle Road.”
Less than two month’s later, Watertown’s James Barnard died during the Battle of Bunker hill, said Huckabee, who volunteers to show tourists around the Bunker Hill Monument.
Huckabee said on Memorial Day Americans should do than just remember that these men and women died.
“General George Patton once observed that ‘Rather than mourn that these men died, let us thank god that they lived,'” Huckabee said. “The truth is that while we rightly spend time mourning their deaths, we don’t spend enough time celebrating what they accomplished.”
He also saluted others who have served their country.
“So, on this Memorial Day, we should first be thankful for all those who have sacrificed their lives over the course of our nation’s history to create and sustain the freedoms we enjoy,” Huckabee said. “We should also remember those who are serving today and will serve in the years ahead, praying for their protection from harm with the hope they will keep the flame of Liberty burning brightly.”