A 1991 Bedford High School graduate who has advanced to the highest Army enlisted rank will be a featured speaker at Bedford’s annual Veterans Day ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 11.
Command Sgt. Major Philip Blaisdell is senior enlisted advisor to the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and training.
The program at Veterans Memorial Park on The Great Road is scheduled to begin at noon.
Blaisdell will be seated with other speakers, including Select Board Chair Emily Mitchell, State Rep. Ken Gordon, State Sen. Mike Barrett, and the Rev. Alonzo Chisholm, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1628.
An annual highlight of the local ceremony is the opportunity for anyone to pay public tribute to a veteran by announcing name and branch and attaching a small flag to a wreath. Each year, dozens of program spectators and participants of all ages line up for this feature.
Blaisdell enlisted in the Army in September 1992. He underwent several deployments, including Iraq in 2005 as a platoon sergeant with the 101st Airborne. He has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the NATO Medal.
The ceremonies next Friday will begin with a short parade, led by Bedford’s Public Safety Honor Guard escorting speakers, American Legion and VFW Auxiliary members, Patriotic Holiday Committee members, and other Bedford and Hanscom Air Force Base dignitaries. The Bedford Minutemen will provide the music.
The podium will be placed in front of the World War II monument. Other speakers will include Chaplain Sgt. Brian Bills of the VFW and American Legion, and Patriotic Holiday Committee Chair Paul Purchia, The Bedford High School Junior Air Force Reserve Officer Training unit will be present.
Bedford Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the Bedford High School marching band will play “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” A three-volley salute and the playing of “Taps” will honor deceased veterans.
In case of inclement weather, park ceremonies will take place in the Bedford High School auditorium.