Why flags are at half staff: Northborough’s Brian K. Arsenault

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Northborough lost a son in the Afghan war last week. Army Specialist Brian K. Arsenault was killed in action in Afghanistan.

I’ve just learned that Southborough has already lowered its flags in his honor. They will remain lowered until after his funeral (a date yet to be announced).

Specialist Arsenault was a Northborough native and ’04 graduate from Algonquin Regional High School. He was killed in battle on Thursday night.

The Boston Globe wrote:

An Army paratrooper with the famed 82d Airborne Division, remembered for his genteel manner, wit, and determination to be a soldier, was killed by gunfire this week in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Friday.

Specialist Brian K. Arsenault was killed about 9 p.m. Thursday as his unit was engaged in small-arms fire with enemy combatants in the city of Ghazni, according to his family and the Department of Defense.

The 28-year-old had enlisted in 2011, and his tour in Afghanistan was scheduled to end in November. (read more)

No word has been issued from the state on flag lowering yet. But our town made its own decision after news of the tragedy.

Commander Steve Whynot of Southborough’s VFW wrote:

Flags have been lowered and will remained lowered as the Town of Southborough stands with our neighbors from Northborough in mourning the loss of this young man.

They will be returned to Full Staff at dusk on the day of his funeral.

There is full support by our BOS and Veterans and great appreciation by those from Northborough as we stand alongside them and the Arsenault family.

We did not – and would not wait until it was “declared” from the State House. As they say – “We take care of our own”.

No funeral arrangements have been published yet. When I learn of them, I’ll be sure to share them. (If you see them before I do, feel free to alert me by emailing mysouthborough@gmail.com. Sometimes, blog readers are my best sources.)

(photo from Susan Fitzgerald)

Updated (9/10/14 11:17 am): Tomorrow is also a day of rememberance for the victims of September 11, 2001. Flags will also be at half mast for that across the state (and I’m sure the country).

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Kathy Morreale
9 years ago

Bravo to Commander Whynot who stood up and made this decision!! This was the right thing to do, to honor this brave young man. This never should have been a question – I applaud you, Commander!!! Thank you so much.

Dr. Steve Morreale
9 years ago

As a veteran, I asked on Friday why they were not lowered to honor the sacrifice of our brave and selfless neighbor from Northborough, Brian Arsenault, who attended Algonquin with our children.

Having now seen the Policy for lowering the flags in Southborough and it is in need of revision. I will compose a revision and will seek consideration of our BOS so there is no hesitation of our town officials to immediately lower the American flag to half-mast. There should be no question that the flags be lowered when one of our own or our contiguous neighboring communities loses a soldier, a police officer or firefighter.

I would ask for the support of my fellow veterans and citizens from Southborough.

Rest in peace Specialist Arsenault, USA.

Thank you.

Dr. Steve Morreale

Anita Reeder
9 years ago

You will have the support of the Reeders…I cannot believe that we cannot lower our flag immediately when we learn of the loss of one of our own or someone whose life had special meaning to the people of this town, especially as a soldier, firefighter or police officer. Thank you, Dr. Morreale, for drafting a new policy concerning this obvious breach of protocol.

Anita Reeder
9 years ago

I, also, would like to thank Commander Whynot and totally agree that it should never have been an issue as to whether the flag should be lowered in his honor and memory….of course it should have! Thank you for always putting our military first, Commander, and thank you for YOUR service, as well!

Al Hamilton
9 years ago

When kids first go to Algonquin they are told words to the effect. You are not from Northborough or Southborough you are from Algonquin and are one community. That was certainly true for my kids. It is only proper that we view Spc Arsenault as “one of our own” and grieve with our friends and neighbors in Northborough.

Thank you Commander Whynot.

Tessa Stephens
9 years ago

Thank you Commander Whynot, and Dr Morreale. You have the support of the Strphens family as well.

Steve Whynot
9 years ago

Folks – Please understand – there was no question the flags would be lowered in honor of Specialist Arsenault. Yes – I lowered the Flag at the All Wars Memorial Friday evening upon hearing of the loss of this young man. Dr. Morreale approached the BOS to follow suit for the Town Hall and there was no question about doing so. Only resources to accomplish it in a timely manner. In retro-spec – I should have done them all Friday night. That being said – I appreciate the good Dr. approaching the BOS to ensure they were lowered. I have an issue with the State about the criteria they use for announcing the lowering – but that is not a discussion for here. Paying full respects to the family and showing the support to the Town of Northborough was primary.

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