It’s really sadenning to see our veterans being neglected and forgotten. there are countless cases of veterans who sacrificed their times with their loved ones and their lives to fight for the country but they ended up forgotten by the nation.
One of these veterans is John T. Fitzmaurice. John fought for the US Army in the Vietnam War and died at the age of 68. But what it makes his story sadder is that he was a homeless veteran who didn’t have any living family members or friends when he passed away in Boston. Knowing that John had no one to honor him, students from Catholic Memorial High School decided to take action.
Senior class president Will Padden told CBS Boston:
“We have a lot of veterans in my own family so I know the sacrifice he made for the country and I know the service he committed in the years he committed to serving our country.”
John’s final resting place was at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon. He was buried with full Mass in the local church.
A group of juniors and seniors served as his pallbearers, but there were plenty of others in attendance to pay their respects.
The group of boys performed their duties with pride and dignity, serving as family members for U.S. Army veteran who passed away at just 68 years old and seemingly had none.
In total, spokesperson Marcus Miller believes around 40 people gathered at the church to bid Fitzmaurice farewell.
Even though the students didn’t know much about John or his life, they felt it was their responsibility to make sure he received a send off that was fit for an American veteran.
“John in this case needed a family and we were there to be John’s family.”
John was buried with full military honors.
While he didn’t have any relatives to turn to at the end of his life, he was surrounded by the love and support of the students at Catholic Memorial.
Watch Will Padden talking about their incredible plan in the video below.