Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lt. General John F. Kelly, USMC speaks in support of the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial

Boston native Lt. General John F. Kelly, USMC lent his support on Thursday December 2nd, 2010 to a new memorial project to honor those from Massachusetts who paid the ultimate price for freedom in Iraq & Afghanistan. His dedication to others and to recognizing the sacrifices made by Massachusetts Veterans in these wars is the mark of a true leader and warrior. His own personal loss of his son Robert recently in Afghanistan makes this even more poignant.

SEMPER FI Lt. General Kelly, you have our thanks and profound respect for all you have given to our country.

Please lend your support to this great memorial project.

Donations to the fund can be made at

Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Group works to honor the fallen from Mass
By Christopher J. Girard
Globe Correspondent / December 5, 2010

To honor Massachusetts service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, a group has created a traveling kiosk that will be formatted to display information and video clips remembering them. The group is also working to establish a permanent memorial.

Organizers of the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund plan to take the kiosk on the road soon to the communities where each of the 140 dead soldiers and Marines lived after it is displayed at the State House, said Dan Magoon, treasurer of the fund.

“It’s not just about honoring those who died, but also about honoring their families,’’ said Magoon, a Boston firefighter who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We have to make sure those guys and girls aren’t forgotten.’’

Families of the soldiers and Marines will be asked to submit video clips and biographical information, which will give the kiosk a more personal nature than mere “names on the wall,’’ said Greg Kelly, the fund’s vice president.

Fund organizers are working with the governor’s office to determine when the kiosk will be displayed.

Donations from Boston firefighters funded the kiosk, which cost $30,000, said Kelly, a Boston firefighter and commander of the Boston Firefighter Military Veterans Legion, who has done tours in Afghanistan with the Army.

Most Boston firefighters are military veterans, Kelly said. “We said, ‘Listen, you guys gotta kick in for this.’ And everybody did kick in to help out.’’

McGee Flooring and Remolding, Martin Interiors, and New England Warrior, a nonprofit that supports Marines and their families, also donated labor, building the kiosk in a week, Magoon said.

Although planning and fund-raising for a permanent memorial is still years away, Magoon said, the fund is closer to their goal after a push for donations and a fund-raising dinner last week, which together raised $100,000.

About 1,000 people attended the sold-out dinner Thursday night at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The keynote speaker was Brighton native Lieutenant General John F. Kelly of the Marine Corps. Greg Kelly is not related to the general.

John Kelly’s son, Marine Lieutenant Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Nov. 9.

“You couldn’t have had a more heartfelt, moving keynote speaker,’’ Greg Kelly said. “Even though his son just died, he stayed focused on the event and our goal.’’

Magoon said the fund is scouting a location for the permanent memorial and its leaders will meet with officials in the coming weeks. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston is one place under consideration, he said.

After securing a location, fund organizers plan to hold a public competition for the memorial’s design and will set the project’s budget based on the design selected, Magoon said.

Magoon said 2013 is a possibility for breaking ground, but that it depends on planning and fund-raising.

“I’ve never done anything like this in my life,’’ Magoon said. “But speaking with people who have done this, I know it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not an easy process.’’

Donations to the fund can be made at

No comments: