Melrose will miss Irving Smolens, but they will never forget him. His legacy was much larger than the small city he called home. He was a honored D-Day veteran whose passing was marked in the U.S. Congress this week. I laughed when Mr Smolens relayed a story to me about interrupting the President this fall at the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. He simply had something to say, a common moment for a man who was a fixture at the Veterans Day and Memorial Day assemblies at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School. He believed students should hear about the history of great men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom. When told he had just minutes to share these memories, he chose to speak as long as he wanted. Generations of Melrosians are better for it. And thanks to the Melrose Veterans Memory Project, his stories will live forever.
Thank you for your service Irving. We never never forget.