Families of soldiers lost in war plant flags on Boston Common and recall their bravery
Marine Private Daniel McGuire was born in Middleborough and grew up on the Cape. He played a little bit of lacrosse and loved theater. He was the oldest of four boys and was 19 when he was standing at his post in the middle of the night in Fallujah, Iraq. It was Aug. 14. 2008, a year and a day after he enlisted. His post was attacked, and he was fatally shot.
A final 159 flags were added today for the Massachusetts servicemembers killed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
An hour-long event at the Common, the “Massachusetts Military Heroes” ceremony, was attended by a crowd of about 300 people, including Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and about 20 families of servicemembers killed in action.
Family members read off the names of the 159 in a “roll call.”
McGuire, 49, of Mashpee, had a message for the crowds that are sure to head in his direction this Memorial Day Weekend.
“They just need a big banner on the bridge, saying, ‘It’s not about the barbecue.’ Swing by the national cemetery in Bourne. ... You don’t need to know anyone there. Just ride through.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino sounded a similar theme.
“There are people going down to the Cape or going to the mountains,’’ he said, standing at a lectern in front of the display of flags. “They forget, they forget the sacrifices made by so many men and women so we could have the freedom in America today.’’
Thomas Crohan, vice president of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which organized the event, drew the crowd’s attention to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that serves as a centerpiece to the sprawling Common.
“Its plaque reads in part, ‘To the men of Boston who died for their country on land and sea, the grateful city has built this monument that their example may speak to coming generations,” Crohan said. “We hope these flags speak to the current generation, as a solemn reminder of the enormous sacrifice made by the heroes we honor today.”
Brian R. Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.