Memorial Day 2018 kicked off with a tribute by our students in honor of our Nation’s Veterans on Friday, May 25th at Malden High School. The ceremony included a selection of patriotic songs and speeches. The event was led by Choral Arts Director Todd Cole. Special this year was a contingent of Irish Veterans who are members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA) who came from Ireland to celebrate Memorial Day in Malden. The IUNVA supports Irish Veterans who have risked their lives in global peacekeeping efforts, worked to provide food and shelter to refugees in countries ravaged by war, and aided in disasters and humanitarian missions.
On the morning of Saturday, May, 26th, Veterans Services Director Kevin Jarvis, Mayor Gary Christenson, Senator Jason Lewis, State Representative Steve Ultrino along with members of the City Council and School Committee participated in the dedication of the CPL Ralph F. Kenty Memorial Square at Savin Street and Fellsmere Road. Family members and friends gathered to honor CPL Kenty, a former Malden Assistant City Clerk (1981-1987) who was injured when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam. He was the only survivor and made it back home but would later lose his leg and suffer 53 surgical procedures during his lifetime. Ralph faithfully served his country and his community and died at age 44 leaving two young daughters and his wife Claire who died a year later. The girls were raised by their grandparents in Malden. His daughters, Katie and Jessica spoke about their father and the veterans and true friends who stepped in while they were growing up and became like family members.
On the cool and rainy morning of Memorial Day, Veterans Services Director Kevin Jarvis, Mayor Gary Christenson, State Representative Steve Ultrino and members of the City Council and School Committee turned out for the dedication of Joseph F. Kinnon Memorial Square at Adams and West Streets. The ceremony was attended by many members of the Kinnon family, friends and neighbors. Joseph F. Kinnon was born in Malden on September 22, 1917 and was one of seven brothers who served in the military during World War II. On July 30, 1944, TEC5 Joseph F. Kinnon was killed in action in Normandy, France while serving as a medic with the 117th Infantry Regiment, Medical Detachment with the 30th Division, U.S. Army. Joseph F. Kinnon was one of 239 Malden veterans who died in WWII.
The annual Memorial Day Parade lifted off at the corner of Salem, Ferry, and Main Streets, and marched north on Main Street to Forest Dale Cemetery. The Irish United Nations Veterans Association, Veterans groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, School Bands, church groups and many others participated. The Ceremony at Forest Dale Cemetery opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Scouts. IUNVA member Michael McMananin sang the Irish National Anthem which was followed by Malden resident and College of the Holy Cross Sophomore Julia Hall giving a moving rendition of the National Anthem. This year’s Grand Marshal was Arnold W. “Arnie” Hammersley, 86, a lifelong resident of Malden who enlisted the U.S. Air Force on January 2, 1951 during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on December 22, 1954. Following his military service, Mr. Hammersley joined the Malden Fire Department in 1964 and retired with the rank of Captain in 1996. He has been married to his wife, Margaret “Midge” for 61 years. They have three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Mayor Gary Christenson and Veterans Services Director Kevin Jarvis presented the United Nations Irish Veterans Association with a citation in honor of their great work and a framed copy of May 27, 1776 document that contains the “Instructions of the Inhabitants of Malden, Massachusetts to their Representatives in Congress.” As the parade wound its way back to the corner of Ferry, Salem and Main, there was a brief pause as a wreath was laid at the WWI and WWII Memorials in honor of Malden High School students who served in those wars. The Irish American Club hosted the IUNVA and their families for a luncheon after the parade.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson
Photos by City of Malden