Star-spangled banners honor Middleboro veterans

May 19, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Lisa Lake’s father, William Oliver, may be gone but he will never be far away from her.

A banner with his image hangs on Wareham Road, on a light pole she can see from her home. 

“It’s important to honor my father,’’ she said as the image of the Korean and Vietnam wars veteran was hoisted.

She and her brother, Kevin Oliver, had the same reaction to seeing their father’s image on banners that are visible to anyone traveling through Middleboro Center.


They even livestreamed the hanging on social media so out-of-town relatives could view it.

He was just one of the veterans from Middeboro whose images, names and service information was placed on banners that were placed throughout the town center Saturday, May 18.

The project, in its second year, drew dozens of volunteers who braved the rain and unseasonable chill to honor the veterans.

John Guertin helped place the banner that salutes Evo Barsari, the grandfather of his wife, Sarah O’Brien-Guertin. “I’m proud to do anything I can to help veterans,’’ he said. “I appreciate everything’’ they contributed.

Melissa Greeley described the experience as “awesome.’’

Lisa Freeman described her participation as “an honor. We should always remember the sacrifices they made’’ so “we can have what we all have today.’’

The day was especially poignant for Elaina Borrelli. The Middleboro native, who now lives in Rhode Island, happened to be driving through downtown Middleboro that morning.

She noticed the banners were being placed and remembered that one had been ordered for her father, Alfred Ortelt, a Vietnam veteran and lifelong town resident. She searched for the banners that had been placed, but couldn’t find her father’s. 

So she decided to pull up and ask a group of volunteers if there was a directory.

They had even better news. “To all of our amazement, he was the next banner they were about to hang,’’ she said. “In an emotional moment, they invited me to do the honors.’’

To add to the sentiment of the day, a mail truck was parked next to the pole where the banner was placed. Her father had worked for the post office for more than 30 years. And when she climbed down the ladder after completing the work, the mail truck drove off.

“I know my father would have loved this, and I have no doubt he had something to do with this chance encounter,’’ she said. “I'm proud to call Middleboro my hometown that gives so much respect to its veterans.’’

Those honored on the banners are: Walter Campbell, Army, Korea, Vietnam; Patrick Regan, Army, World War I; Wayne Caron, Navy, Vietnam; Angelo “AJ’’ Lapanna, Army, Iraq, Afghanistan; Deborah Sampson, Continental Army, Revolutionary War; H. Alden Sinnott, Army, World War II; Peter Farley Jr., Army, World War II; Dennis Foye, Army, Vietnam era; Mamie Mackiewicz, Army, World War II;

Leonard Dumas, Marines, Vietnam; Walter Hollick, Marines, World War II; Sterling McLean, Navy, World War II; Andrew Farley, Navy, OIF, OEF; Leo Fuce, Air Force, Vietnam; Henry Bump, Navy, World War II; Gerald Dorr, Marines, World War II; Russell Tripp, Army, World War II; Bill Cazza, U.S. Coast Guard, Vietnam era; 

Ernest Montrund, Navy, World War II; Fletcher Clark Jr., Army, World War I; Nina Seymour, American Red Cross, World War I; Henry Lavelly, Navy, World War II; Albert Soule, Marines, World War II, Korean War; William Franks, Navy/Army, Gulf War era; Francis W. DeNapoli, Army, World War II; Mitchell Smith, Army, Korean War era; Joseph Richard, Air Force, Vietnam era; Joseph Marra, Navy, World War II;

Albert Dube, Navy, Korean War era; Edward Parks, Army, World War II; Earl Casey, Army, World War II; Jenny Davila-Holloway, Air Force, Gulf War, OIC, OEF; James Browne, Navy, World War II; Bud Browne, Navy, Vietnam; Dominick Lemmo, Navy, World War II; Edmund Yarusites, Army, World War II; Frederick Cassiani, Army, Korean War;

Timothy Leary, Army, World War I; Edward Dunn Jr., Army, World War II; Evo Bosari, Air Force, World War II, Korea, Vietnam; James E. Pasquarello, Army, Vietnam era; James A. Pasquarello, Army, World War II; Fred Z. Washburn, Army, Vietnam; William Bassett, Army, World War II; Dianne Easton, Army, Cold War era; William H. OIiver, Navy, Vietnam; Douglas Benson, Air Force, Vietnam; Michael A. Iampietro, Army, World War II; Arthur E. Goodreau, Navy, World War II; Cornelius Duggan, Army, World War II; Simeon L. Nickerson, Army, World War I. 

Roger Butch Wainwright, Army, Vietnam; William Murphy, Navy, Korean War; Alfred Ortelt, Navy, Vietnam; Kevin Burrill, Army, Bosnia, OIF, OEF; Alan Giampietro, Army, Vietnam era; John Daigle, Air Force, Vietnam era; William Smith, Army, Vietnam; John Glass, Army, World War I.