Mayor Gary Christenson and Veterans Services Director Kevin Jarvis welcomed the Malden community on Memorial Day at Forest Dale Cemetery to honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation’s freedom. Packed with nearly 250 attendees, the Ceremony included several unveilings and several patriotic songs sung by the Malden Choral Art Society and the Malden High School Band. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts led all in the Pledge of Allegiance and Malden Soprano Natalja Sticco sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Remarks were made by Mayor Christenson and Guest Speaker Iraq and Afghan Veteran Emery Haskell, U.S. Navy Commander Ret., who served multiple tours with over five years of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Malden Fire Department Captain Eric DeAvilla and Firefighter Kien Long read the names of all firefighters, and Police Sergeant J.P. Kelly and Sergeant Scott Carroll read the names of all police officers who served in the Global War on Terrorism.
Unveiled to much fanfare were two life size bronze statues that will serve to honor all the men and women who served during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the many other military operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The statues were placed next to bronze statues that were previously dedicated in honor of Malden’s Vietnam and Korean veterans.
A plaque in honor of Malden Marine Lance Corporal Edward M. Garvin was also unveiled. Marine Lance Cpl. Edward M. Garvin, 19, was killed in Action on October 4, 2006 while conducting combat operations in Rawah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. The plaque honoring him which was formerly located in Trafton Park was presented to his son, Brent Garvin, a member of the Salem N.H. Jr. ROTC Honor Guard and members of his family.
Mayor Gary Christenson thanked Cemetery Director Chris Rosa who worked tirelessly with Director Jarvis and the committee to complete the project in time for Memorial Day.