Flags Will Be Displayed in City Hall Later This Month
On June 7, 2010 Methuen Veterans Services Officer Thomas Hargreaves assisted Joseph Bella, Secretary of the Methuen Historical Commission and James Smith, member of the Methuen Historical Commission in presenting to the City of Methuen two (2) flags that had flown over Merchant Marine ships that were transporting American and allied forces across the English Channel on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
The flags were donated to the City by Mr. & Mrs. Michael Markey, who currently reside in Georgia. The flags were previously displayed in the museum at the Nevins Library until the library was expanded and the museum taken down. They have been in storage since that time. They will be displayed as part of the Freedom Shrine in City hall.
These flags are tattered and soot coated as they were flying over the ships as the battle to land the American and Allied forces raged on around them. World War II is the only time that the Merchant Marine has been recognized for military purposes and the sailors who served on those ships were granted veterans status.
Joseph Bella explained how the Historical Commission came into possession of the flags and James Smith introduced Mr. Markey’s daughter, Ms. Michelle McCormick, who still resides in Methuen. Members of the Historical Commission and those who were involved in finding a proper location to display the flags were also on hand. Bella also explained the significance of the flags and why their display is important to present as well as future Methuen residents.
Mayor Manzi thanked the Markey family for their generous donation and is planning to display the flags later this Month.