Monday, November 12, 2001
By L. E. Campenella
Monument Honors Mothers of War Dead
Yesterday was a day for the veterans, but also for the mothers. More than 550 people honored the mothers of 22 Cohasset men who died in America's wars of the 20th century.
"This is a symbol of collective loss of Cohasset," said Jane McCarthy- White, a Vietnam War veteran and Cohasset resident, at the dedication of the Cohasset's Gold Star Mothers Memorial at Woodside Cemetery.
"They know best the high price of freedom in this country." McCarthy- White said. "It was beautiful," Helen McCormick, 57, said of the cere- mony at the newly refurbished and enlarged cemetery. "It is really difficult as a parent when you lose a child." Glenn Oratt, a veteran and chairman of the cemetery committee, said the memorial is in honor to both the men who gave their lives to their country and to their mothers. We can't do enough to remember their sacrifice," Oratt said.
The memorial has an eight foot high center stone that reads: "May the inspiration found here allow us to reflect on the lost dreams of mother and son." To each side of the center stone are 11 smaller monuments in a crescent shape, with the name of each mother and the son who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
As each name was read, a friend or family member put a rose on the indi- viduals stone.
Cover of the Dedication Book
Dennis Joseph Reardon Memorial Stone
First Lieutenant Dennis Joseph Reardon grew up here in Cohasset. He lived three houses down from this spot at 84 Elm Street. He attended the Old Ripley Road School, The Deer Hill School, and graduated from Coh- asset High School.
While at Cohasset High School he was selected Co-Captain of the football team, as well as Co-Captain of the Mayshore League team. His coaches and the football writers of the Quincy Patriot Ledger chose him to be a member of the Patriot Ledger All Scholastic Team.
In 1963 he graduated from Cohasset High School, and went to Boston College. Majoring in finance, he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi frater- nity and graduated in June of 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduating, Dennis volunteered for service in the United States Marine Corps. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on November 1st, 1967.
He attended flight school at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, earning his wings as a naval aviator on April 25th, 1969. In September of '69, Dennis received orders assigning him to HMM-364, a helicopter squadron located at Marble Mountain, in Vietnam.
On November 29th, 1969, Dennis' mission was to evacuate combat cas- ualties from a location in the Que San Mountains, twenty miles south of DaNang. While Co-Pilot during this medevac mission, his CH-46 heli- copter exploded in flight, killing Dennis (age 24) and his entire flight crew. For his heroism in Vietnam, Dennis was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Air Medal with Numeral 7, the Purple Heart, and the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal.
On December 8th, 1969, Lieutenant Colonel C. R. Dunbaugh, Dennis' Commanding Officer, wrote to his parents, Mary and Norbert, and his five brothers and sisters, informing them of his death. He wrote, "Even though Dennis had been with this squadron for a short period of time, he quickly made friends and leaves us with lasting memories. He was ex- tremely conscientious and devoted to his duties and immediately gained respect of his fellow Marines. We will miss him a great deal and hope that you will find some comfort in knowing this."
Today, Cohasset remembers and honors Dennis Reardon. Most of us here knew him, his quick smile, his irrepressible sense of humor. We might have known him as "The Duck". We might have seen him at the Cove or riding his motorcycle up Jerusalem Road. For this memorial stands to remind all of us that the little boy who lived on this street, play- ed football at the high school field, swam at Sandy Beach, was an alter boy at St. Anthony's Church . . . this boy, gave his life for his town and for his country. This memorial seeks to keep his spirit here . . . and forever with us.
One of the eleven stones representing Cohasset's loss.
Dennis Reardon's photo in the dedication book.
Dennis Reardon's History Index
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