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Six Mass. Families Given The Medal Of Liberty For Relative’s Sacrifice

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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FRAMINGHAM (CBS) — Children, seniors and all ages in between marched, stood and prayed this Memorial Day in Framingham.

A total of 4,500 American flags have been placed here throughout the town cemeteries in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. However, this particular Memorial Day, six local families were honored in a special way and presented the Medal Of Liberty.

“The Medal Of Liberty is only presented to families killed in action or died of wounds as a result of enemy action,” Lt. Col. Peter Harvell said.

Holliston resident Martha Conley received the medal in honor of her great uncle who died nearly 100 years ago.

“My mother never even know him. He died two years before she was born. He was one of 300 volunteers asked to raid the German lines and he was killed with gas,” Conley said.

With great pride, medals were placed over their hearts and each family was given a citation. Joan Thomas says she’s overwhelmed with gratefulness. Her uncle, Philip Roger Thomas, died in Korea in 1950. He was only 19 years old.

“It means a lot. I wish my father could be here for this,” Thomas said.

Conley, who still has her great uncle’s prayer book says this is a Memorial Day she will never forget. “I just think it’s a legacy. I am so glad my mother talked about him all the time. We have his portrait in our home and we are so glad he is being recognized,” Conley said.

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