Patriot Week, established in 2016, is designed to inspire and educate our Commonwealth about Honor, Service, Sacrifice, Character, & Duty. The annual rededication of the memorial culminates with the unveiling of five updated glass panels revealed by Gold Star Family members. These panels have been etched with more names, more Heroes, more tears, and more pain than the year before. Last year, one of the very pillars of MFH, co-founder Eric Emond, was added to a lone panel. His wife and three daughters unveiled the glass and thus marked the evolution of the MFH mission. Eric was directly involved in erecting the very memorial he now stands guard over. An advocate for Supporting Gold Star Families, Eric’s girls now bear that title. This year we celebrate ten years of successfully Honoring our Fallen and vow to do so for the next decade.
The timing of Patriot Week is important as it commences on Armed Forces Day and concludes on Memorial Day. All activities and programs offered during Patriot Week are created to educate citizens about the difference between Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Through these events we Honor our Fallen and reinforce the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Photo by Hacin + Associates
“This year holds a very different feeling, one of excitement, anticipation, and hope for what’s to come in the future. I am stronger and feel a massive sense of pride representing an organization my husband helped create and would like to be a sense of hope for others who are walking, and will walk, this terrible journey of losing part of their family.”
— Gold Star Wife Allie Emond
Our Annual Memorial Dinner is the anchor event during this week. Dignitaries, business people, veterans, and community members come together to recognize the Gold Star families and honor the 301 Massachusetts military members we’ve lost since September 11, 2001. This event serves as our primary fundraiser for the year, and will include the capital campaign of the Sergeant First Class Eric Michael Emond Center for Excellence (ECE).
Previous Patriot Week events have included Veteran Leadership Panels, PatriotFest Concerts, Mass Fallen Heroes 5K Race, Fenway for the Fallen, and the annual Re-Dedication of the memorial.
Each year we expand the Patriot Week events to reach new audiences and involve new businesses. If you or your business would like to become involved in Patriot Week 2020, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are here because we are supposed to be here. Because we owe it to them; we swore we would never forget. We have a creed that says we will leave no man behind. If we did not take the time to HONOR them, we would be leaving them behind. If we did not work to SUPPORT the Gold Star Families, we would be leaving them behind. If we did not work hard to EMPOWER the Veterans that served alongside them, we would be leaving them behind.”
Master Sergeant Gregory Kelly
President and Co-Founder Massachusetts Fallen Heroes
19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), U.S. Army