Britton Street resident John Carey said what happened to his home is "the American way."
The elderly veteran is living in the home his grandfather had built. But, it was getting old and falling into disrepair and Carey simply couldn't come up with what was needed to make those fixes.
They spread out over the city's cemeteries on Saturday, more than 200 volunteers seeking out names and placing wreaths.
It was part of the National Wreaths Across America Day, what is becoming an annual event to remember those who served in the nation's military. More than 3,000 wreaths were placed on graves at Southview, Hill Side, Blackinton and St. Joseph's cemeteries.
Lined up in ranks across tables and the floor were shopping bags, wrapped gifts, cards and sports bags filled with necessities were ready for pickup on Friday morning at the North Adams Veterans Office.
Town meeting voted to rename the field last December to memorialize Cook and the town's veterans and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, also named after Cook, raised the funds to install the sign.
The council adopted the provisions of state laws for programs in which those age 60 or older can receive abates of up to $1,500 and veterans can receive abatements of up to $1,000 for their volunteer services. The roll-call votes were 8-1 on both orders.
In the 100th years since World War 1 came to an end, state officials and veterans groups have rededicated the War Memorial Tower.
The Veterans War Memorial Tower is now designated as a national monument by the U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.
But the attendees were also taking away more than just food and conversation. This first annual picnic was offering a "goodie bag" of wellness supplies and a gift certificate for each veteran who attended.
The meeting will be held noon to 3 p.m. at Reid Middle School, 950 North St. The conversation is part of an ongoing series conducted by the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in its service areas.
That is why it has been a blessing for the office to be able to expand its cache of free items for the 180 to 200 veterans it now serves monthly, including a new endeavor of providing a food pantry led by donations from Big Y supermarkets in North Adams and Pittsfield.
What sets Atwood apart from the many others lying next to him in Hill Side Cemetery are three remarkable minutes in his largely unremarkable life.
Atwood probably didn't think much of those three minutes at the time; most of his contemporaries didn't either. And even the individual who spoke during those three minutes thought "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here."
On average 20 veterans a day commit suicide.
"Veterans are about 6 percent of the population but they are 20 percent of the suicide rate right now. That is something we as a community, we as veterans, we as active service members, can all work on to help those veterans as they transition back into this very strange life," said Darren Bean, the president of the Warrior Thunder Foundation, a non-profit organization who focus on helping veterans from even getting to that point.
The state Senate wants to give veterans the ability to "work off" more of their tax bills through community service.
The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to increase the amount veterans can work off from $1,000 to $1,500 in workoff programs.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of names on the Veterans Memorial Wall of men and women from North Adams who served in the nation's wars dating back to World War I.
But city officials know there are a lot names missing from its more recent conflicts.
It was like pins and needles.
That's what Bill Weigle, a World War 2 pilot, told the Reid Middle School eighth-grade class of his flights during the war. He never knew when or if a German fighter would appear near him and shoot him down.
"I did not come here to tell you I'm a hero because I'm not. But we were on pins and needles the whole time," Weigle said.