Veterans' families were hosted at Fort Independence
BOSTON — July 3, 2012—The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that it will host a private viewing of US Navy and United States Coast Guard activities commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, which will include the turnaround of the USS Constitution and a ‘flyover’ by the Blue Angels and other military planes. The events were organized for families of fallen service members, known as Gold Star Families. The viewing is being organized jointly by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund. Viewing will take place at the top of Fort Independence on Castle Island in South Boston, a beautiful and historic spot overlooking Boston Harbor.
“Remembering the families of the fallen is the greatest tribute we can give to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our nation’s independence,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “Massachusetts is proud and humbled to share Fort Independence with Gold Star Families as we celebrate this historic day.”
“In Massachusetts we have made resources and support for our veterans a top priority,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. “I’m delighted to honor Gold Star Families on Independence Day as a tribute to their dedication and commitment.”
”Here in Massachusetts we dedicate bridges, squares, and even street corners in honor of our fallen sons and daughters as reminders that our proud military history was forged by ordinary folks in our neighborhoods,” said Brian and Alma Hart, Gold Star Parents from Bedford, MA. “Our Gold Star Families form a close community and to be able to celebrate on historic grounds on this most patriotic family holiday in the company of good friends and families is a gift we do not take for granted.”
“As we celebrate the 4th of July and our nation’s independence, we are humbled and honored to be able to share this special day with families that made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our independence,” said Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Coleman Nee. “We can never repay Gold Star Families for the loved ones they lost, but we can continue to honor them and hosting this special viewing is a small token of the Commonwealth’s and our nation’s appreciation.”
“DCR is privileged to host these families as a small recognition of their sacrifice to preserve the independence we celebrate this week,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “We hope that our work to celebrate Independence Day across DCR properties statewide extends our thanks to all those veterans and their families as we honor the work of many this week.”
“We are very grateful that the Commonwealth continues to remember our fallen heroes by honoring their surviving families at events like these. It is a powerful reminder that we will never forget the price of our freedom or the sacrifices of those who gave all serving our country so proudly and so bravely”, said Diane Nealon, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.
More than 385,000 Veterans currently live in Massachusetts, including 37,000 men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. The work of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services and its partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services, other state agencies, and Veterans' organizations has led to many services and benefits for Veterans. Together the Patrick-Murray Administration has worked to ensure newly returning Veterans, as well as Massachusetts’ aging Veteran population, continue to receive quality health, education benefits, housing and employment services to honor their service.
The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing support, programs and services to the families of military service personnel from Massachusetts fallen in service to the United States in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Fort Independence is a granite star fort that provided harbor defenses for Boston, Massachusetts. Located on DCR’s Castle Island, Fort Independence is the oldest continuously fortified site of English origin in the United States. The first primitive fortification was placed on the site in 1634 and replaced in 1701 with a more substantial structure known as Castle William. Re-built after it was abandoned by the British during the American Revolution, Castle William was renamed Fort Adams and then Fort Independence. The existing granite fort was constructed between 1833 and 1851. Today it is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, preserved as a state park and fires occasional ceremonial salutes. Fort Independence was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1970.
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