Gold Star families’ tree dedicated at State House
November 30 2016/BOSTON – Boston Globe by Olivia Quintana
Gold Star families packed into the State House Tuesday afternoon to have a grand holiday tree dedicated to the loved ones they have lost in military service to the nation.
“Take in the precious moments that you can. Let the songs, the smells, and the sights that remind you of your loved one bring back the treasured memories of their life,” said Debbie Lucey, whose older brother, Jeffrey, committed suicide in 2004 after returning from Iraq.
Lucey said she wanted every family present to know that they weren’t alone in their grief this holiday season.
“My heart goes out to everyone who can relate to this story of not having your loved ones with them for the holiday,” Lucey said.
Governor Charlie Baker thanked families for the service of their loved ones.
“I am so pleased to see so many people here today to stand up for honor, and recognize and thank those families who above all else permitted a loved one in their midst to serve this country and put themselves in danger,” Baker said.
That honor and sacrifice transcends the current climate of divisive politics, the governor said.
“I look around this room during what I think we can all agree is a complicated political time,” Baker said. “I see Republicans, I see Democrats, I see independents, but mostly what I see are Americans. I sometimes think we should remember that. Nobody ever asks a Gold Star family if they’re Republican or Democrat or independent, because everybody knows they’re Americans.”
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said she had been in the same room for many purposes, but none as special as the dedication of the Gold Star tree.
“I want to thank you for what you have taught me and for what an inspiration you are for me as a mother,” Polito said. “You are extraordinary people, extraordinary.”
“From my heart and from my family and from our administration’s family to yours, all our love and blessings,” she said. “God bless this great country of America.”