After a long journey, Pawtucket’s 21 Heroes will finally have a permanent place of honor that respects their ultimate sacrifice.

The city will officially dedicate a new monument to the 21 soldiers who died in the Vietnam War, including Saint Raphael Academy alumni Michael Dalton ’64 and Jack Hulme ’64, on Sunday, May 21, 2017.  The monument was a project that came together quickly in the last year, thanks to the efforts of many community volunteers and donors. The monument was recently installed at the Armistice Boulevard entrance to Slater Memorial Park.

As part of the activities leading up to the dedication ceremony, Saint Raphael Academy will present a feature showing of “Unknown Soldier: Searching for a Father” on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Alumni Hall. The film was made by John Hume IV about his father, whom he never knew.

On June 30, 1969, Lt. Jack Hulme was killed in Vietnam, having never met his then-three-week-old son. The movie, which was featured on HBO in 2005, traces Jack’s life through his son’s interviews with those who were closest to him.

Jack Hulme and Michael Dalton were classmates at SRA in the early 1960s and led almost mirrored lives, going to the same college, where they met and later married women who were good friends. Michael Dalton died in the line of duty in June 1971 and, like his friend, never met his own son. Their tragic losses left a void not only in their families’ lives, but also in the SRA and Pawtucket communities. They are remembered with a special scholarship at the Academy, which has helped over 50 students afford a Catholic school education. Their lives, and the lives of each Pawtucket soldier, are also detailed in “They Heard the Bugle’s Call: Pawtucket and the Vietnam War,” a book by Terry Nau, a former Pawtucket Times sports editor.

The film will be shown at 2 pm and is free and open to the public. Mr. Hulme will be present for a question and answer session after the film. An invitation-only dinner honoring the two soldiers will be hosted by the Class of 1964.

 

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