Thanks to Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, who attended today’s event at the Lawrence Municipal Airport.
A large crowd gathered at Lawrence Municipal Airport on Sunday, September 26, 2010 to honor the family members of fallen Massachusetts service members. Thanks to the efforts of local Veterans Service Officers, and many local groups supporting veterans such as “Support our Troops”, this has become an annual tradition in the Merrimack Valley. The names of all Merrimack Service Members killed in combat since Vietnam were read aloud as a bell tolled. After all the names were read, there was a rifle salute and the playing of Taps.
The weather was perfect for parachutists who jumped in unfurling the American and POW Flags during their descent. These flags were displayed at the ceremony.
According to Representative Linda Dean Campbell, Vice Chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, “the event was somber, but at the same time, family members of deceased service members were clearly comforted by being together.” Major General Carter, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, along with U. S. Senator Scott Brown, State Senator Stephen Baddour and State Representative Barbara L’ Italien were also in attendance.
As a result of legislation recently passed into law, family members were presented with the “Massachusetts Medal of Liberty”, symbolic of the Purple Heart Medal given to members of our Armed Forces. This recent legislation provides Massachusetts Service Members a “Welcome Home Bonus” for multiple combat tours as well credit for transferring certain military skills to civilian occupations. Family members and Service Members needing additional information should contact their local Veteran Services Officer.