Marc Silvestri, veterans director for Revere, will oversee the city’s virtual Memorial Day ceremonies Monday beginning at 11 a.m.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Silvestri said there will be no outdoor ceremonies or coordinated observances at the gravesites in Revere on the national holiday which honors the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The veteran’s office staff of Silvestri and Assistant Director Donna Dreeszen will be distributing flags for future placement at the gravesites.
American flags have been placed on the American Legion Lawn to honor 206 individuals who were killed in action and more than 800 other veterans.
Silvestri said special recognition is being given to World War II veterans.
Mayor Brian Arrigo, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Rep. RoseLee Vincent, Sen. Joseph Boncore, and Council President Patrick Keefe will be among the participants in the Memorial Day ceremonies. Five Revere veterans from different military conflicts will deliver pre-recorded messages.
A former Revere High football great, Silvestri is a military hero himself. He was a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout in the United States Army serving with the Big Red One in the 64th Cavalry Division and engaged in battles against the Taliban and foreign fighters in mountainous regions.
Silvestri spent 13 months in lower Afghanistan and received the Purple Heart Medal Bronze Star With Valor.
“We were the most attacked base in Iraq and Afghanistan and involved in 110 firefights and hundreds of incidents of troops in contact,” related Silvestri. “We were the eyes and ears of the force.
It’s a 15-man platoon, but we travel in smaller groups than that depending on the mission or the overlook that was provided.”
Silvestri said his personal message to the families who lost loved ones in military action is: “I honor them with the utmost respect, our Gold Star parents that live with this every day,” said Silvestri, noting the loss of former RHS football star Larry Salamone, in military action.
“Every time I see Larry’s dad, I really feel that tear on your heartstrings,” said Silvestri. “Larry was a great athlete. He was small in stature but he had a huge personality and a huge heart. You’re not supposed to bury your child, but we know the risks we take when we sign up and go off to combat.”
Silvestri said it’s vital to show support for the veterans on all days, but especially so on Memorial Day.