HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mall shoppers stopped to observe Friday as the newest Army enlistees took their oath of enlistment at a specially designated area known as the Honor Court.
The young men and women took pride in accepting the responsibilities that come with their entrance into the military. In the interests of social distancing, there were two ceremonies welcoming the 12 men and women into their new roles as soldiers.
Administering the oath is always special for Springfield recruitment officer, Captain Stephen Lariviere. He told 22News, “We’re very proud of them. I’m always very happy to be here to officiate it and I’m glad to salute every single one of them.”
Many enlistees have stood at the Honor Court site since this section of Holyoke Mall real estate was designated a military honor court in December of 2019. This is a proud moment for the enlistees and their loved ones.
“Just being among the one percent that they talk about, freedom isn’t free so I have to serve, I felt I have to serve my country,” said Ethan Lichwan.
Felena Lichwan, Ethan’s mom, told 22News, “I’m super proud of him, I’ve always known. I’m totally supportive, I’m very proud, a very proud Mom.”
That proud moment shared with loved ones and fellow enlistees, as the 12 men and women sworn in today become part of that one percent of Americans who share the honor of serving their country in the military.