Ceremony At Dracut Park Honors First Mass. Soldier Killed In Iraq

DRACUT (CBS) — On a beautiful, crisp November afternoon, Dracut residents gathered to give honor to a hero and friend who paid the ultimate price, 22-year-old Army Specialist Mathew Boule.

“He had the most beautiful, smiling eyes, he was a peacemaker,” Boule’s mother, Suellen Boule said.

A memorial park was dedicated to the memory of Boule, a Dracut native who in 2003 was the first Massachusetts serviceman killed in the line of duty. He was on a volunteer mission in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The memorial was dedicated to Boule on Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

The memorial was dedicated to Boule on Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

“I think about him every day,” his father, Leo Boule, said.

The Massachusetts State Police helicopter did a fly by to honor the first crew chief and first gunner.

“He gave his life for the country and citizens of this town,” Suellen said.

Boule was the first soldier from Massachusetts to die in the Iraq war. (WBZ-TV)

Boule was the first soldier from Massachusetts to die in the Iraq war. (WBZ-TV)

The memorial itself overlooks Beaver Brook. The town and some businesses helped pay for it.

Gov. Charlie Baker says with Veterans Day approaching, today’s memorial holds special meaning.

“The word ‘hero’ is for somebody special. This place will be special, and hallowed ground,” Gov. Baker said.

The memorial park will be completed in the spring, when the community will plant trees and flowers in Boule’s honor.

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