This past Wednesday, 30 members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA) who traveled from Ireland to celebrate Memorial Day in Malden were welcomed to the Massachusetts State House. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, State Senator Jason Lewis, State Representatives Steve Ultrino, Paul Donato, and Paul Brodeur greeted the group and their spouses who were led by Director of Veterans Services Kevin Jarvis. 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. Most of the men are retired from the Irish Army and belong to the Organization of National Ex-Service Personnel and the Irish United Nations Veterans Association Post 1 in Dublin and Post 9 in Athlone, Ireland.
Upon arrival, the group sang a beautiful rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” on the main staircase of the State House. They presented Lt. Governor Polito with a crystal vase inscribed with the IUNVA seal, Irish and American flags and the words “Visit to Boston 2018.” They later enjoyed a tour of the State House after which they were treated to lunch. They were then brought into the State House Chambers and were recognized by a full House of Representatives for their service and sacrifice to help people who were victims of civil war, natural disasters, starvation and oppression in many countries around the world.
IUNVA Spokesman Paul Cooley explained what his organization does to remember his fellow soldiers who have served. IUNVA is similar to our VFW, DAV or American Legion that care for men and women who have served in the military and have suffered during assignments abroad to bring peace to war torn countries. Paul Cooley's sister, Eileen Locke, lives in Malden and Paul attended one of our Memorial Day parades and services years ago and decided to bring his group of 30 veterans to Malden to march on Memorial Day to honor and remember our American veterans and Irish veterans who have lost their lives around the world.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson