By EDWARD FLYNN – U.S. Navy (retired)

This past Sunday, members and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Thomas J. Fitzgerald Post #561 of South Boston, visited several cemeteries throughout Boston to place American flags in front of each headstone of a military veteran. This time honored tradition, ensures each veteran is remembered and honored, as we also reflect on Memorial Day in our country.

We were touched to see the determination of Sister Lois Connors and Sister Florence Kahler (Sisters of Saint Joseph), join other volunteers in walking the hallowed grounds of New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan and St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury, seeking the names of veterans to properly place an American flag at the gravesite. Other post volunteers also visited Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester to remember and pray for our fallen heroes at that site. As we passed the grave (at New Calvary Cemetery) of U.S. Army Private First Class Michael J. Perkins, of South Boston, a Medal of Honor recipient, for actions in World War I, we said a silent prayer to the incredible sacrifice he made for our nation. As we prayed and remembered him and other fallen heroes, we could also hear the beautiful sounds of the bagpipe throughout the air performed by Michael Casper, a volunteer at the post.

Memorial Day, a somber day of remembrance, is a day we reflect and pray for our war dead. We also remember the families of these fallen heroes and their loved ones.  These fallen veterans are remembered for their heroism, duty to country and sacrifice. These heroes are also a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a husband or wife, a friend and neighbor. They are never forgotten by a grateful nation. Across our country and here in South Boston, people will pause on this sacred day: In silent remembrance, to mourn, remember, honor, to pray and to shed a tear for those who sacrificed their life in defense of our country. As a nation, we also are determined and resolved that their sacrifice will always be remembered.

Additionally, on Sunday, May 29, the members and volunteers of our post cordially invite you to join us as we honor our fallen heroes in our annual Memorial Day ceremony, as we march from the post to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Medal of Honor Park at 9 a.m. Post members will then lay a wreath of remembrance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  For additional details of Sunday’s service, please contact 617-820- 8571.

Note: The members of the Thomas J. Fitzgerald Post #561 would like to thank the volunteers who joined us this week to make this event possible, including the van driver and the owner of the Southie Shuttle.