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Christmas tree dedication at State House honors Gold Star families


Mass. Governor Charlie Baker, First Lady Lauren Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito pay tribute to miliitary families at the Annual Massachusetts Gold Star Families Tree Dedication organized by Military Friends Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Mass. military families and families of the fallen, in Boston on December 4, 2018. (Brita Meng Outzen)

BOSTON/December 2018 – Boston Globe by Andres Picon

A freshly adorned Christmas tree towered over hundreds of members of Massachusetts Gold Star families Tuesday afternoon at the Massachusetts State House as officials thanked and praised them for the service and sacrifice of their fallen relatives.

The tree was dedicated to the families as part of an annual tradition hosted by the Military Friends Foundation. The families gathered under the domed, stained-glass ceiling of Memorial Hall to create personalized ornaments, including photos of and messages to their loved ones who died in military service. The ornaments were then hung on the tree in their honor.

“To all those of you who are here because you lost somebody, on behalf of a grateful commonwealth and a grateful nation, thank you,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It’s your families and the hundreds of thousands of other families and the millions of those who have served who make this thing that we call democracy possible.”

Patricia Sherman, the wife of Sergeant Benjamin Sherman, a Plymouth native who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, read a poem about the experience of Gold Star families, before the Back Bay Ringers performed a Christmas song. She was expecting the couple’s first child when the 21-year-old Army paratrooper and a second 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper went missing in the Morghab River during a resupply mission near Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan. Sherman’s body was recovered several days later.


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