Photo L to R: Past Commander of Chapter 27 DAV Somerville Tom White, William Tauro and Donna Pointer
By Patrick Fitzgerald
This past Wednesday morning, Veterans Day 2020, a memorial wreath was presented to veterans in a ceremony that was open to the public, that took place on Broadway in Somerville.
A couple of days earlier, a group of Somerville veterans got together to discuss their concerns that Mayor Joseph Curtatone and the City of Somerville were not going to
be hosting the traditional/annual Veterans Day wreath presentation ceremony in Somerville this year.
The veterans told us here at the news that on the day before Veterans Day, the city notified a handful of veterans that they were thinking of doing a virtual online greeting instead of the traditional wreath presentation ceremony at the cemetery.
After hearing about the cancellation of the annual dedication by Mayor Joe Curtatone, Past Commander of Chapter 27 DAV Somerville, Tom White expressed his concerns about the lack of respect for the Veterans of Somerville and of Massachusetts. Commander White immediately contacted Publisher William Tauro at the Somerville News Weekly to express his concerns about what was going on.
William Tauro, a Somerville mayoral candidate who will be running for the Mayors seat in November 2021 jumped into action and hit the ground running to show his passion for the Veterans as he has done in the past decade or longer. Tauro purchased a memorial wreath on his own and presented it to Commander White and dedicated it in appreciation and honor to all Veterans.
The wreath was placed where it should be at the foot of the memorial statue at the West Somerville Cemetery this past Wednesday morning.
On Veterans Day Tauro said in an interview that “This annual wreath presentation ceremony is important and symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice that these brave veterans made for this country.”
Tauro said that he “was appalled when he heard that there was no ceremony planned with Mayor Curtatone nor the city of Somerville for these brave individuals.” Tauro also mentioned that he heard that “the city was thinking of doing a virtual greeting instead of the traditional wreath presentation which Tauro also called “absurd.”
Commander White who is also celebrating his birthday today said that “when these brave men and women went overseas to fight for this country they didn’t go virtually they went in person and when they died overseas fighting for this country they didn’t do that virtually either they did that in person and many came back in body bags.”
Tauro stated for “Curtatone to even think of doing something this ludicrous just shows a lack of respect to our veterans here in Somerville by him and his administration.”
Commander White also noted that “no elected officials from the city of Somerville at all were in attendance at the ceremony!”
Also present at the ceremony was Donna Pointer, sister of the late US Marine PFC Ronald Pointer a Somerville veteran who was killed in action on September 17th, 1968 in Vietnam.