Speaker Remembers Watertown’s Lost Servicemen, Others During Memorial Day Ceremony

Print More

Charlie Breitrose

Members of the Watertown Colonial Guard reenactment group march in the 2018 Memorial Day Parade.

Charlie Breitrose

Members of the Watertown Colonial Guard reenactment group march in the 2018 Memorial Day Parade.

The commander of the Natick Solder Systems Center reminded people of the importance of remembering those killed while serving and protecting their country during Watertown’s Memorial Day Observance on Monday. 

The town held its annual parade, from East Watertown to Town Hall, on Monday, followed by a ceremony in Saltonstall Park.

Opening the ceremony, Watertown Veterans Agent Mark Comeiro said that Memorial Day is a time not only to remember those lost in battle, but also those who died after their time in the military.

“We mourn our most recent losses, along with their families, and we our ancestors who are now family heroes,” Comeiro said. “We recount their contributions even though we may have never known them. We remember them as those that have done so much to make this country great.”

Charlie Breitrose

Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, commander of Natick Soldier Systems Center, spoke about the importance of remembering those lost while serving in their nation’s military during the 2018 Memorial Day Observance in Saltonstall Park.

The keynote speaker for Watertown’s Memorial Day Observance was Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, currently commanding the Soldier Systems Center in Natick. In the centennial year of the end of World War I, Malone said it is fitting to remember those killed in the “War to End All Wars.”

“As we end this century since the end of the War to End All Wars we are reminded of the true costs. Members of the American Expeditionary Forces — Doughboys, as they were called — fought in 13 battlefield campaigns, suffering more than 300,000 killed, wounded or missing,” Malone said. “The first campaign took part in this time of year, the May/June time period.”

He also spoke about how Memorial Day began in the United States.

“I know many of you know the history of this holiday, and if so, you know to that it is not just about the backyard barbecues, or going to the beach, or the latest holiday sales, or the unofficial start of summer,” Malone said. “It is a far deeper meaning than that.”

When Memorial Day began it was known as Decoration Day, and was first celebrated in 1868 by decorating the graves of the Civil War dead of both sides with flowers. At that time, General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, wrote that we should not only remember those who died in defense of their country, but we we should also renew our pledges to aid and assist those who they have left among us — the widows and orphans, Malone quoted.

The United States has suffered many thousands of loses in wars since 1775, Malone said.

“Ever since eight members of the Lexington Militia lost their lives in the first battle of the American Revolution, nearly 1.2 million service members — soldiers, sailors, airman, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — have lost their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice. It is our sacred duty to ensure that they are not lost to history,” Malone said.

Charlie Breitrose

Two youngsters decked out to watch the Memorial Day Parade.

He added that one of the people lost on the first day of the Revolutionary War was Watertown’s Joseph Coolidge. He was killed leading a group of soldiers to find the British after the battles at Lexington and Concord.

Malone also remembered the nine Watertown servicemen killed during the Vietnam War. Most died 50 years ago, this year.

James Patrick Casey

Paul James Gorman

Frederick E. Harrington Jr.

John Robert Johnson

John Herbert Moreno

Richard Stephen Moxley

William Kenneth Regan

John Joseph Sullivan

Paul Joseph Sullivan

The United States military continues to suffer casualties in the 21st Century, Malone said, most recently Sgt. Mihail Golin who died on Jan. 1, 2018, in Afghanistan. Malone also recalled his friend and mentor, Maj. Gen. Harold Green, who died in Aug. 5, 2014 in Afghanistan.

Scroll through more photos from the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *