Napolitano gives Veterans Day address in Boston
BOSTON — Kristin Jamison never met her father before he lost his life in Vietnam.
Marine Cpl. Robert Lewis Curry died in the line of duty after volunteering to take someone else’s patrol.
Now 46, Jamison called it humbling Monday to hear U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speak of his sacrifice as Northeastern University added Curry’s name and those of two other late alumni to its Veterans Memorial.
“It’s not just the lives of the vets. It’s the families and their loss,” said Jamison, a Massachusetts native who lives in Spokane, Wash.
Napolitano was the keynote speaker at the school’s Veterans Day ceremony, when she also placed a wreath at the base of the Veterans Memorial with university president Joseph Aoun.
“I think it’s really wonderful to see a university community turn out like yours has today to look at the role of veterans and to say `thank you,”’ Napolitano told the crowd.
The Homeland Security official’s appearance in Boston came a day after she visited relief workers in a storm-ravaged borough of New York City. At Northeastern, she spoke of seeing veterans helping in that post-Superstorm Sandy recovery effort.
She referenced Northeastern’s participation in disciplines that relate to national security, work that school officials say includes research in explosives detection, cyber defense, robotics and data security.
Napolitano also told family members of veterans who died in action that Americans would never forget their loved ones’ service.
“Each of those individuals is more than a name. It’s a person who has served, given the ultimate sacrifice. And I’m so glad that they’re being recognized here today,” she said.
Besides Curry, the university added the names of veterans Francis W. Curtin and Alfred Leonard Tripp to its granite memorial wall. Dedicated in 2006, the campus site honors students and alumni who died carrying out military duties.
Curry graduated from Northeastern in 1967 with a business administration degree before he died in Vietnam. Curtin graduated from Northeastern in 1936 with an engineering degree before losing his life while serving in the Army in Korea. Tripp was also an engineer. The pilot finished school in 1963 before dying while serving as a Marine in Vietnam.
Napolitano gave replicas of the individual metal plates that hang on the memorial to the families of the three men. Each plate is fashioned to look like a dog tag.
Peggy Tripp Turman, who came to Boston from her Florida home for Monday’s ceremony, said she’ll treasure the one she got honoring her late husband.
“I’m just so thankful that I can be here and will always remember his sacrifice,” the 73-year-old Turman said.
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