The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) unveiled a new memorial coach today honoring the Massachusetts men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the MBCR announced its new patriotic train car, noting that the coach will travel "thousands of miles across Eastern Massachusetts as a reminder of all our fallen heroes."
The new train coach bears gold stars with the names of the fallen soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors. It was unveiled today at South Station and took its inaugural trip on the Worcester/Framingham Line, which passes through three stations in Newton.
"Massachusetts is proud to honor who have bravely served our Commonwealth and country,” Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services, said in the press release. "With the launch of the state’s first-ever memorial train, Massachusetts will have the unique opportunity to recognize our military servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom."
According to the press release, the memorial coach will make rounds across all Commuter Rail lines over the next couple of months.
A full press release from the MBCR is included below:
BOSTON – Wednesday, May 23, 2012 -- Today hundreds of veterans, Gold Star families, and active members of the military joined Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee and transportation officials in honoring those from Massachusetts who lost their lives during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with the launch of a first-ever memorial train coach.
The new train coach was unveiled at Boston’s South Station, bearing the names of fallen soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen on stars placed over a patriotic image. The coach will travel thousands of miles across Eastern Massachusetts as a reminder of all of our fallen heroes.
“Massachusetts is proud to honor all veterans who have bravely served our Commonwealth and country,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services. “With the launch of the state’s first-ever memorial train, Massachusetts will have the unique opportunity to recognize our military servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.”
More than 30,000 veterans have returned to Massachusetts from the Global War on Terror and Overseas Contingency Operation. Secretary Nee, a veteran of the United States Marine Corp., was the keynote speaker at the memorial train unveiling.
“This coach will serve as a rolling memorial to those service members and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Secretary Nee. “It heartens me to know that this memorial will be on the tracks, passing through cities and towns across the Commonwealth as a reminder of these brave heroes and their dedication.”
The memorial coach was launched from South Station on an inaugural trip to Worcester and will be making the rounds across every line on the MBTA commuter rail system over the next several months.
While roads and bridges are often named after armed service veterans, the launch of the first-ever memorial train coach in Massachusetts is an extension of the transportation community's recognition of military service, a point reflected in comments by top transportation officials at the event.
“I am honored to pay tribute to men and women of Massachusetts who have sacrificed their lives to protect our country,” said MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey. “This memorial commuter rail coach, adorned with the names of our fallen heroes, is a reminder of their sacrifices, and a visible token of appreciation for their service to this country.”
“As Memorial Day approaches we are reminded of all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect this country,” said Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis. “We are proud to memorialize our fallen heroes with this special coach that will be shared throughout the MBTA commuter rail system”
“With so many veterans employed by the railroad, it is a privilege to operate this one-of-a-kind traveling memorial for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and their families” said MBCR General Manager Hugh J. Kiley Jr. “MBCR is honored to operate the memorial train across the MBTA commuter rail system.”