Posts Tagged ‘veteran’
Townspeople dedicated a signpost in the center of Raynham yesterday to honor Sergeant First Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
Monti’s father said Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and about 200 residents gathered outside of the First Congregational Church on South Main Street for an hourlong dedication ceremony that paid tribute to the 1994 Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School graduate, appropriately held on Memorial Day.
The townspeople and Raynham Veterans’ Services made arrangements for the monument, which displays Monti’s name, the phrase “Fallen Heroes,” and the Medal of Honor. The sign sits at the intersection of four main streets.
“The pride that they had in doing it was just fantastic,” said his father, Paul Monti.
Monti was killed in June 2006 when he attempted to rescue a wounded comrade during a firefight in Afghanistan, on his fifth tour of duty during his 12-year military career. In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts.
Since then, his father has organized events through the SFC Jared C. Monti Memorial Scholarship Fund. Because the Raynham signpost and ceremony were efforts of the town, Paul Monti found yesterday’s events especially touching. “That was a really emotional part, and the real heartwarming part because this little town has adopted my son as their own,” he said.
Also yesterday, a plaque at City Hall Plaza in Brockton was dedicated to Army Captain Anthony Palermo Jr., who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
The first Veterans Day after his son was killed in Afghanistan, Paul Monti visited the grave of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, with plastic American flags in hand.
When Monti asked why none of the graves had flags, even for the holiday, he learned flags were restricted from the grounds because they interfered with maintenance.
“They didn’t allow flags on individual graves, and that made me quite upset,” he said.
Monti spent four years trying to reverse the rule, and this Memorial Day, he and a group of volunteers plan to place 56,000 flags on the graves at the cemetery, he said.
Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people are expected to join Monti on Saturday to place the small $1 flags.
“I think I’ll probably be elated once I see it done, but in a somber sort of way,” he said. “We are honoring the dead; and these people served their country, and they deserve at least a little respect.”
Before Monti and volunteers distribute the flags, they plan to hold a ceremony at noon to honor the veterans. There may be short speeches, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem, but he isn’t planning anything extravagant.
“We want to keep it kind of simple – this is something being done by the people, not being done by politicians or anything,” he said of the ceremony.
Volunteers are welcome.
Jared Monti won the Medal of Honor for heroism when his patrol was attacked in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan in 2006. He was shot and killed while moving fellow soldiers from gunfire and saved a man who suffered a gunshot wound.