If you forget my death, I died in vain

South Boston Vietnam Veterans will celebrate the 42nd Anniversary of the South Boston Vietnam Memorial –  located in Medal of Honor Park – on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

Marine Corps Lt. General Christopher Mahoney, Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources will be the keynote speaker and two recently planted oak trees from Belleau Wood in France will be dedicated – one in honor of the 35 South Boston men and all the men from Boston killed in World War I and the other to all Marines Past, Present and Future. Belleau Wood was the scene of a major battle in June 1918 involving U.S. Army troops and U.S. Marines, and where their German adversaries labeled the Marines Devil Dogs, a moniker the Marine Corps embraces to this day.

A Memorial Mass will be held in St. Brigid Church, 841 East Broadway, South Boston, at 10:30 a.m., followed by an 11:30 a.m. rededication ceremony at the memorial.

Invited Guest: Governor Maura Healy, Mayor Michelle Wu, Congressman Stephen Lynch, City Council President Ed Flynn, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford (Ret), and other elected officials and dignitaries are scheduled to attend. Always attending the rededication ceremony will be the families of the 25 men from South Boston who were killed in action during the Vietnam War, along with many South Boston Vietnam Veterans.

The South Boston Vietnam Memorial was among America’s first formal memorials for Vietnam Veterans – predating the dedication of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. by 13 months. It honors 25 men from South Boston who gave their lives during the war. South Boston suffered one of the highest losses of men killed in action in the country for a community of its size.

The South Boston Vietnam Memorial was dedicated on Sept. 13, 1981, and a rededication ceremony is held every September.

The 25 men honored on the South Boston Vietnam Memorial are: Joseph J. Agri, LCpl USMC; Charles A. Bazzinotti, 1stLt USA; Richard J. Borovick, SP4 USA; John C. Calhoun, LCpl USMC; John H. Cole, PFC USMC; Paul M. Daley, SP6 USA; Ronald L. Delverde, PFC USMC; Joseph F. Desmond, PFC USMC; Joseph W. Dunn, PFC USMC; Devon M. Enman, Sgt USA; Gene D. Grover, SSgt USMC; Frank C. Hubicsak, PFC USA; Douglas J. Itri, SP5 USA; John P. Jacobs, Cpl USMC; John G. Joyce, Cpl USA; Edward W. Milan, Sgt USAF; James O’Toole, PFC USA; Burton Peterson, LCpl USMC; Paul H. Sheehan, 1stSgt USMC; James J. Stewart, PFC USMC; Edward Stone, PFC USMC; Edward M. Sullivan, PFC USMC; Joseph Thomas, E. PFC USMC; Donald J. Turner, LCpl USMC; James K. Wheeler, SP6 USA.

Image: Painting of Vietnam Memorial by South Boston Artist Dan McCole 

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