Two Names Added to Memorial Plaque

More than 60 members of the Saint Mary’s community attended a moving Veterans Day ceremony on a cold November evening when two new names of fallen Gaels were added to the 39 names on Saint Mary's veterans memorial plaque.

Alumni Association President David Johnson ’84 introduced Joh n Hanson, brother of Stephen Paul Hanson ’61, who was killed in Vietnam and was listed as missing in action for decades. DNA tests recently confirmed that he died in that war.

“We remember his memory. It never goes away,” John Hanson said in an emotional voice. “He is with us today, if only in spirit.”

Alisa Martin ’02, representing the family of Timothy P. Martin ’04, who was killed in Iraq, urged those assembled to remember her brother not only as a son, a brother and scholar, but as a hero.

Father Tom McElligott then blessed the plaque, sprinkling holy water over the names engraved on it, and Russell Harrison MBA ’79, chairman of the Board of Trustees read the names of all known fallen Gaels from World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Iraq.

In addition to Harrison, state Assemblymember Joan Buchanan spoke at the ceremony, saying that the state of California will remember our veterans by approving two new veterans homes, in Redding and Fresno. Barbara Johnson, district director to U.S. Representative George Miller, read a letter from the congressman.

Other dignitaries present were Moraga Mayor Mike Metcalf, Moraga councilmember-elect Phil Arth, and Craig Crossly, a former mayor of Moraga. Shomari  Carter, a veteran who is an SMC senior, and recent graduates Tom Dale ’12 and Vinnie Townsend ’12, both Iraq War veterans who attend Saint Mary’s on the Yellow Ribbon GI Bill, also attended the ceremony.  

By Tim Farley
Director of Community and Government Relations

Photo by Andrew Nguyen '15

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