Let’s hear it for Southie’s own Ray Flynn – former mayor of Boston and ambassador to the Vatican – has been appointed orator for Boston’s Fourth of July celebrations. What exactly does this mean? Well, read the following press release:
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced former Mayor of Boston and Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn will be this year’s orator for Boston’s Independence Day Celebration, which will take place at 10:00 a.m. on July 4th at Faneuil Hall. Flynn has orated the celebration once before in 1986, making this year special as the 30th anniversary of his first oration.
“Through his lifelong commitment to public service, Ray Flynn embodies the spirit of America,” said Mayor Walsh. “Ray has dedicated his career to his country, and the people of Boston, and I am pleased to welcome him back to Faneuil Hall to celebrate Independence Day.”
Flynn will join a distinguished and diverse list of orators for the ceremony, which dates back to 1773. Past orators include: John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, Horace Mann, Keith Lockhart and Julia Child.
“This 4th of July, I am proud to recognize all the dedicated and loyal Americans who continue to work hard, defend our nation, raise strong families and play by the rules. Our active citizens are what makes America the great country is it,” said Ambassador Flynn. “I’m delighted to join Mayor Walsh for the historic Faneuil Hall Oration in celebration of Independence Day.”
In addition to the oration, The City of Boston’s Independence Day Celebration schedule is as follows:
All times shown are approximate and are subject to change.
9:00AM – Official celebration begins at City Hall Plaza with a brief ceremony at the flagpoles lead by Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
9:20AM – The marching units and dignitaries assemble and proceed from City Hall Plaza to Tremont Street.
9:30AM – The procession halts at the Old Granary Burial Ground where Sam Adams, John Hancock, Peter Faneuil and Robert Treat Paine are honored and then continues to Bromfield Street to Washington Street to Old State House.
9:40AM – The Declaration of Independence is read by Brigadier General Robert Welch of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company at the Old State House balcony, from which the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians in 1776, by a member of the Ancients.
10:00AM – Procession reforms from Congress Street to North Street and ends at Faneuil Hall.
10:15AM – Patriotic Exercises are held at Faneuil Hall, with remarks from Mayor Walsh, oration by Raymond Flynn and patriotic musical selections.
About the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment is committed to producing fun, free, public, family-friendly events for the people of Boston and visitors to enjoy.
For more information, please call 617-635-3911, visit boston.gov/summer, or check out VisitBoston on Twitter. City Hall Plaza is accessible by MBTA via Haymarket (Orange and Green), State Street (Orange and Blue) or Park Street (Green and Red).
About Ambassador Flynn
Ray Flynn served as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and was elected Mayor of Boston three times by the highest margin in modern Boston history. Flynn is an honors graduate from both Providence College and Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was voted to the All-American Academic Team, inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame, Most Valuable Player in the National Invitational Tournament, voted the Greatest Athlete in South Boston history and received 17 Honorary doctorate degrees from leading American colleges. Flynn served in the U.S. Army and was a Boston Public school teacher, college basketball and baseball coach, and best-selling author of The Accidental Pope, and John Paul II, A Personal Portrait of the Pope and the Man.
Ray and Kathy (Coyne) Flynn have been married for 51 years, and have 6 children and 17 grandchildren. He has become a leading U.S. advocate for Special Needs Children and still coaches baseball and soccer in the Challenge League, sponsored by the Teamsters Union. Ray is a Life Time Member of the International Longshoreman’s Union where both Kathy’s father, Frank, and Ray’s dad, Steve, were also union dock workers on the Port of Boston. Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Redevelopment Authority recently renamed the Boston Marine Industrial Park – The Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park – after the former Ambassador and Mayor.