For Immediate Release - July 15, 2009

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Memorial Honoring Fallen Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Service Members

BOSTON, MA - Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced and unveiled plans for the Commonwealth's official memorial honoring service members who lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). This will be the first memorial in Massachusetts dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives in the post 9/11 conflicts.

"The brave men and women of Massachusetts who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve our utmost respect, recognition and the ability to live on through this memorial," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services. "These service members and their families will never be forgotten."

The interactive, computer-based memorial will include a touch-screen podium kiosk placed in front of a large flat-screen television. Visitors will be able to search for service members using their names or city/town information. Additional information pertaining to the veterans and the history of military and veterans issues will also be available through the memorial. The memorial is expected to be complete in 2010.

Initiated in the summer of 2008 by Governor Deval Patrick, a task force was created to begin plans for the state memorial. Planning took place with the assistance and collaborative efforts of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Gold Star Mothers, and the OIF/OEF Veterans of Massachusetts.

The memorial will be housed, for one year, in Memorial Hall at the State House after which it will travel to cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

"It is our duty as citizens of the Commonwealth to remember the brave men and women who have lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this memorial we are honoring not only the lives lost, but the families who have had to bear the ultimate sacrifice as well," said Secretary of Veterans' Services Tom Kelley.