Dear Friends:

This month I was so grateful to once again be involved with the Brothers for Life and New England Injured Soldiers event at Gillette Stadium hosted by the Kraft family. This event brings wounded warriors from Israel to visit our community and meet local U.S. injured soldiers. There is a special bond amongst wounded warriors and certainly there was discussion on how each got their war injuries and the struggles that have come with recuperating both physically and mentally. Moreover, there was the realization that they were the lucky ones. That many of their fellow warriors did not make it back to family and loved ones.

The event was timely, given the upcoming Memorial Day weekend (a Federal holiday established for us to remember those lost to war). This is a weekend filled with outdoor activities, barbeques, being with friends and family and also a time when we remember the men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our way of life. It is a bittersweet weekend for me, as many of you know. As a Naval Academy graduate and someone who served for 22 years in the U.S. Navy, it is a weekend for me to remember many that have been lost, especially friends and classmates.

During a recent visit to Israel on CJP’s Spark trip I had the opportunity to witness Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) traditions firsthand. The contrast with how we observe Memorial Day in the United States was stark. In Israel, at the start of Memorial Day at 8PM a siren sounds for 1 minute and the following day at 11am a siren resounds for two minutes, bringing the entire country to a standstill. People from all walks of life pause their daily activities to remember and honor the fallen. This collective act of remembrance creates a powerful bond and a shared understanding of the sacrifices made for their nation. I will never forget the feeling of understanding and clarity I had during the sounding of the sirens on those two days.

Of course I don’t think that tradition would work in our country our size but I hope I can implore you with a few options we can do (not a big ask) to commemorate Memorial Day a bit more. Here are a few:

Attend a local memorial service, visit a military cemetery, or simply take a moment of silence to pay your respects. Share stories of fallen heroes with your friends and family, reminding them of the bravery and dedication displayed by our servicemen and women and their families. Below are some local options:

Local parades and ceremonies:

  • Wayland– Parade and Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Sudbury– Parade and Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Hudson– Parade and Ceremonies on Monday 5/29
  • Marlborough– Parade on Monday 5/29
  • Framingham– Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Natick– Parade and a raising of the flag Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Ashland– Parade and Salute on Monday 5/29
  • Hopkinton– Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Medfield– Parade and Ceremonies on Monday 5/29
  • Millis– Parade and Ceremony on Monday 5/29
  • Norfolk– Parade and two Ceremonies on Monday 5/29
  • Norwood– Flag Ceremony and Church Service on Saturday 5/27 & Monday 5/29
  • Westwood– Parade on Monday 5/29
  • Dedham- Ceremony and Mass on Monday 5/29
  • Sharon– Flag Ceremony to honor those who served on Friday 5/26 & Sunday 5/29
  • Plainville– Ceremony this Wednesday 5/24
  • Wrentham– Parade on Monday 5/29


Here is who I remember on Memorial Day Weekend:

I remember my good friend Major Rick (Ricardo) Crocker United States Marine Corp Reserve. A Police Officer in Santa Monica CA and recalled to active duty, he was killed in action May 26, 2005 in a coordinated Rocket Propelled Grenade attack by insurgents while conducting combat operations in Haditha, Iraq. A memorial scholarship has been setup in his honor at his Alma Mater George Washington University (click here to learn more).

I remember U.S. Marine Corporal Mark Goyet, the son of my very close friend and Navy Shipmate U.S. Navy Captain Ray Goyet, U.S. Navy (retired). Mark was killed in action June 28, 2011 during a mountain patrol and encounter with a large Taliban force. His parents setup a foundation in his memory to provide college scholarships (click here to learn more).

I remember many of my Naval Academy classmates killed in action or operations.

I especially remember my good friend and local kid from Westwood MA Ernie Greppin. He was a gentle giant with a big heart and 6’ 4 inches 220 lbs of lighting speed and strength. He was top rower at Annapolis. He was lost on July 15, 1991 on an operational parachuting mishap as a SEAL.

And last but not least, I remember and support the families that must go on after a loss of a loved one. They are also heroes as they must figure out life without their service men and women being present. The Gold Star Family Foundation helps families with all aspects of facing the challenges of continuing life. The Gold Star Family designation is a badge of honor no family aspires to.

Thank you in advance for spending a bit of time remembering and commemorating our war fallen and their families. Wishing you a meaningful and safe Memorial Day weekend.



Lino Covarrubias, Veteran and CEO