Effort to Honor Fallen World War One South Bostonians Taking Shape

Did you know that there isn’t even one national monument or memorial that honors World War One veterans? Some call it the forgotten war, because so little attention is given to the 116,000 American servicemen who lost their lives do to that conflict. Here are the numbers: 116,000 perished nationwide, more than 5,000 of those were from the state of Massachusetts, and 1,100 were from the entire city of Boston, including more than 100 South Bostonians, who answered the call. Even in conflicts that long ago, the percentage of South Boston residents who put their lives on the line in defense of freedom was above the national average.

There are those who believe that the fallen from that war should have the same recognition as the brave members of the military that are honored from all the other wars and conflicts that cost the lives of so many service members. Mary Ryan and Kevin Conroy are among a group of people who plan to give them that much deserved notoriety, particularly those who had ties to South Boston to help mark the 100 year anniversary of America’s entrance into that war on April 6th, 1917.

Those who have attended or visited South Boston High School know that, located prominently in the corridor near the headmaster’s office, a wooden structure stands encased in glass.  Behind the glass are pictures of 101 of the 104 local residents, who perished in battle or from injuries and ailments because of it. Some of the names are familiar to most. Michael J. Perkins has a Veteran’s post and a street square named for him.  Thomas Fitzgerald also has his name on one of the community veteran’s posts and the Lee Playground is named in memory of Major Christopher Lee. And did you know that Logan Airport is also named for a fallen WW I veteran from Southie – General Edward Logan?

South Boston has a rich and fascinating history, when it comes to WW I and those who follow historic events and the great people who were part of it will get to learn about them on April 29th at 11am right in the South Boston High School Auditorium. The public is invited and everyone is welcome. It’s being called The Ceremony to Commemorate and Honor the Memory and Sacrifice of our World War I Fallen Heroes. This will be an impressive event that will shed light on how the American ‘Dough Boys’ helped turn the tide of that brutal conflict in favor of the Allies. WW I was called ‘The war to end all wars’ at the time and is considered by some historians to be the beginning of modern warfare as the use of tanks, aircraft and even weapons of mass destruction, in the form of poison gas, were introduced for the first time in a major conflict anywhere in the world.

The more than 100 names of the fallen South Bostonians will be given recognition with some details about their lives with a formal and quite impressive ceremony on April 29th at South Boston High School. This is one event that history buffs and most everyone else as well won’t want to miss.  As the date gets closer and more details fall into place, South Boston Today will update our readers and keep you informed.