All editions


Download 2.44 Mb.
Size2.44 Mb.
1   ...   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   ...   37

Andrew Farrar's Marine platoon had made a vow that none of them would write ``what if'' letters home from Iraq, convinced that just talking about dying in combat would be a kind of curse.

So his letters home were full of promise instead of dread, with one gushing about a Christmas gift of a CD of his favorite band, Boston's own Dropkick Murphys.

``Thanks Ma. I got your package today. I love (Dropkick Murphy's) `The Fields of Athenry.' I swear I want them to play that song on the pipes at my funeral when I die,'' Farrar wrote in his last letter home to Weymouth.

``When Andrew wrote that he meant he wanted bagpipers to play it when he died of old age,'' said his brother, Nate Farrar, 25.

The older brother was just weeks away from coming home when he wrote that letter. He planned to renew his wedding vows to his wife Melissa as their little boys, Tyler, 7, and Liam, 3, watched.

But the next letter from Iraq was from the Marines.

``We regret to inform you that on January 28 Sgt. Andrew Farrar died while serving his country in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq. Words cannot convey our sorrow.''

Nate Farrar wrote an email to Dropkick Murphys Web site to talk about his brother's love for the band. Within minutes he got a response from bassist Ken Casey: ``Call me.''

Nate Farrar did. And on the cold day Farrar's body was carried up the steps into St. Frances Xavier Church in Weymouth, Dropkick Murphys was outside.

And ``The Fields of Athenry'' skirled in the harsh winter wind.

Dropkick Murphys spent the night before the funeral in the studio, recording a version of the ballad especially for Andrew Farrar. There were only three CDs cut.

Casey tucked one under the slain Marine's arm before he was buried. Another was handed to his wife, and the third to his parents, Andrew Sr. and Claire.

``This is Andrew's song. We did it for him,'' Casey told them, promising it would not be released. The band had already written a song about letters from soldiers in Iraq to their families. But now that song, ``Last Letter Home,'' is about Andrew Farrar, the lyrics his own words.

``Hey Melissa. Don't be afraid. I'm in good hands. I'm going to be home soon. It's time to watch the children grow up.''

The family has since given the band permission to break their promise and release Andrew's song to raise money for a memorial fund in his honor.

The band is creating 2,500 CDs that will contain just two songs, Andrew Farrar's version of the ``Fields of Athenry,'' along with the tribute song, ``Last Letter Home.'' The $10 CD is available strictly through the website,

Donations can be made at the Southshore Savinds Bank, 1530 Main Street, Weymouth, MA, 02190.
GRAPHIC: Tribute: Nate Farrar, left, his father Andrew, and Dropkick Murphys bassist Ken Casey hold a portrait of fallen Marine Andrew Farrar Jr., a huge fan of the Boston band. The Murphy's have released a CD to raise money for a memorial fund in Andrew Jr.'s honor. Staff photo by Matt Stone
LOAD-DATE: August 18, 2005

248 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 18, 2005 Thursday

LENGTH: 577 words
HEADLINE: Vigils pick up steam as war support falters
BYLINE: By Margery Eagan

Edward Loechler, host of Brookline PeaceWorks vigil last night for Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan, prefers the word ``progressive'' to ``left wing nut,'' which is what many would call both Sheehan, Ed Loechler and his fellow vigilers.

He also understands that ``people find us annoying.''


Three Cindy vigils in Brookline. Two in Jamaica Plain. Six in Cambridge, of course, all organized by

So there we were last night at the corner of Harvard and Beacon Street, Coolidge Corner, Brookline; three Starbucks within a half a mile, two-bedroom condos selling for $500,000. Maybe 40 or 50 mostly older, white vigilers holding candles, singing ``Kumbaya'' and ``Where Have All the Flowers Gone'' like a big '60s reprise as CVS workers ruined the mood by passing between them unloading big boxes of Tide and Bounty and Charmin toilet paper from a delivery truck.

At one point a mentally challenged supermarket bagger charged through the crowd making obscene gestures and shouting, ``You Michael Moore-loving fascists!'' Of at least three dozen vigilers asked, not one knew anybody in the military, probably because Brookline High has never been a feeder school for Camp Lejeune.

Yet just up Beacon Street in Washington Square was a much bigger, quieter, more dignified and mixed group of vigilers, including several children and a couple holding a huge sign, ``Like Cindy, We Want the Truth, Mr. President.'' And as they stood with their candles the mood was somber, solemn.

You had time to reflect about the reason these people even bothered to come out at all. And it was not just for Cindy Sheehan, several said, but because of their dread about this war and what it means for our future; because of ``all the young people dead,'' said a woman in her twenties, fearing for her younger siblings in a draft; and because of a loss of faith in the president who took us into Iraq. And now his refusal to meet with Cindy Sheehan out there in Crawford with her rows and rows of white crosses? No matter how wacky she is, no matter what she's said in her rage, it makes Bush seem so much less of a man, nevermind a leader.

Maybe last night's vigilers were just ahead of their time. Look at any recent poll: yesterday's most reliable Rasmussen poll, for example. It said much of America has lost its faith as well. And more than a third of us, Democrats and Republicans, now believe the terrorists, not us, are winning.

Ed Loechler, a Boston University molecular biologist, says if you just spent enough time with his fellow PeaceWorkers, you may or may not agree, but you'd understand ``that our hearts are in the right place.'' For after he gives you the usual anti-Bush spiel about neo-cons lying us into Baghdad, he has an answer when asked: what now? Bring the troops home, now, he and the PeaceWorkers say, even if Iraq devolves into civil war. ``There is no perfect solution,'' he says. ``There are going to be problems if we pull the troops out. But the question is how to minimize the mess.''

Then he makes an analogy between a pullout now and our pullout from Vietnam.

But there's a big, scary difference. When we fled Vietnam 30 years ago, the Vietnamese bore the brunt of our abandonment. Nobody came after us, the Americans.

We pull out now, the smart money says, Iraq becomes even more of a festering, simmering, terror hotel. And then they do come after us. Big time.

- Margery Eagan's radio show airs at noon weekdays and 9 a.m. Saturdays on 96.9 FM-Talk.
LOAD-DATE: August 18, 2005

249 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 18, 2005 Thursday

LENGTH: 711 words
HEADLINE: Letters to the Editor

Taiwan owed U.N. place

Columnist Peter Brookes further illustrates the dire need for 23 million Taiwanese to be granted recognition by the United Nations (``Sino-Russian sabres rattling,'' Aug. 16). China's desire to host the exercises closer to Taiwan is another action designed to bully Taiwan into forced submission.

The Taiwanese people enjoy a thriving democracy. They, not China, will determine their own course. It is fitting that China's quest to stymie democracy in Taiwan has found a willing ally in Russia. Only through allowing Taiwan greater representation in the world community can we cease this senseless onslaught on freedoms that are universal rights of all human beings.

- Mark Mesiti, Somerville

O'Reilly schooled

Fortunately, right-wing boor Bill O'Reilly is a former teacher. In his skewed logic, any tax on the well-to-do means the poor folk can have more government entitlements (``Ted K fails most basic lesson,'' Aug. 15).

Pretty sad stuff from someone who plays the Republican Everyman when he's really a member of the media elite.

O'Reilly eschews the facts when he says, ``The federal government is spending record amounts of money on public education.'' Since the Bush administration's gutting of virtually every education aid program, 250,000 qualified American students each year have been unable to attend college because they simply can't afford it.

- Gene McCarthy, Arlington

Needle shock overrated

Why are Heather Mudd and Michael Mandell ``seeking legal advice'' because an IV catheter was inadvertently left in their infant daughter's arm (``Parents stung by needle left in baby's arm,'' Aug. 17). The hospital was correct to call this a ``minor oversight,'' one that neither harmed nor endangered the patient.

We all pay the price for frivolous legal actions - taxes go up to pay for more courts; legitimate cases are delayed by frivolous ones; medical bills and insurance premiums go up because of rising malpractice insurance rates; and doctors are forced to give less attention to each patient so they can see enough patients to afford to stay in practice.

Yes, the hospital should have apologized. However, since an ambulance-chasing attorney can warp ``We're sorry'' into ``We're at fault,'' the danger of frivolous litigation prevents hospitals from apologizing for minor oversights.

The nurses who left the catheter in are surely sorry, even if hospital policy prohibits them from saying so.

- Jonathan Kamens, Brighton

War based on weapons

World War II veteran Paul Brailsford asks of President Bush: ``Why did you make this war?'' (``Hub protestors stand with dead vet's mom,'' Aug. 14). Paul, thank you for your service to our country.

When informed by many sources, including Russian and British, that Iraq possessed WMDs and, therefore, was a threat to the United States in light of 9/11, President Bush had no choice but to go into Iraq. That's why President Bush made this war.

When it became clear that WMDs were not to be found and Iraq was no longer a threat to the United States, it was time for Presdient Bush to leave Iraq.

- Dino Livolsi, Arlington

Meth a menace

With our first crystal meth overdose, it is time for the Southie politicians to realize that the hope and recovery mission, aside from a few cases, isn't working (``First meth OD prompts lawmakers to push bill,'' Aug. 14).

For too long, good people in the neighborhood have been victimized by junkies. The majority of residents hear nothing about punishment for the offenders. They only hear how more money is needed for drug treatment and rehab beds. Lawmakers need to stop treating this problem as a medical condition and start treating it as crime. It's time to pass a bill requiring harsh mandatory sentences for first-time offenders.

- Thomas P. Flaherty Jr., South Boston

Efficient emergency

Instead of wasting taxpayers' money by supplying every small and insignificant town, why not supply the metropolitan cities with a full array of equipment and training (Aug. 3)? Other strategically located cities with larger populations could also be supplied with equipment that nearby small towns could use for training and emergencies.

Presently, the only people who are making a killing are the manufacturers of this emergency equipment.

- Peter Pihun, Woonsocket, R.I.
LOAD-DATE: August 18, 2005

250 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 17, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 490 words
HEADLINE: Lawrence eyes steps to curb late partying

LAWRENCE - In the wake of last weekend's shooting outside a late-night club, the city's police chief and mayor are taking aim at controversial city laws allowing late drinking and after-hours clubs.

``This is a formula for disaster,'' said police Chief John Romero, referring to an ordinance that allows people under 21 to enter late-night restaurants that hold liquor licenses. He is drafting a change that would bar minors.

Romero and Mayor Michael Sullivan are also exploring the possibility of having club hours scaled back. This year, closing time went to 2 a.m. Closing time was 1 a.m. until a year ago.

Romero and Sullivan are now reacting to anger at the late-night clubs after the alleged shooting by Daniel Cotnoir, a decorated Marine and Iraq war veteran, into a raucous crowd near his apartment, after someone tossed a bottle into his window. Bullet fragments hit two people, including a 15-year-old girl who had just come out of a restaurant at 2:30 a.m.

In March, Hector Paniagua, a local high school basketball star, was paralyzed after being shot outside another late-night club.

Romero said, ``We have 54 alcohol-restaurant locations in the city that allows owners to bring in people under 21. The club where Hector was shot had an alcohol-restaurant license, but didn't even have the capacity to serve food. This is a blatant way of drawing kids in under 21.'' Romero's proposal would require minors to leave restaurants that serve alcohol by 11 p.m., require the restaurants to actually be able to serve food, and separate bars from dining area.

Boston does not allow late-night restaurants to hold liquor licenses. ``The city has never gone for that because it is very difficult to enforce and there is the potential for easy violation,'' said Trish Malone, the director of the Mayor's office of consumer affairs and licensing.

Some youth in Lawrence said the city needs to do something to keep teens from having easy access to alcohol in clubs because it leads to violence when the crowds leave.

``I'm paranoid about going out at night because it is crazy,'' said Kenny Guerrero, 15.

Angelo Paulino, 17, said ``Those crowds are violent when they come out. And it's because a lot of the kids are drinking when they're inside.''

Romero said he will give the ordinance to the city attorney for review and hopes to make a presentation to the City Council soon.

Cotnoir, an Iraq veteran who has sought counseling at a veterans' hospital and allegedly told police PTSD played a role in the shooting, was part of a mortuary unit in Iraq. He helped collect and prepare the remains of up to 100 Marines killed in action, often horribly mangled by bombs.

He was named Marine Corps Times 2005 Marine of the Year for his work. Contrary to widespread news reports, however, he told the Boston Herald last month he did not personally remove mutilated contractor bodies from the bridge in Fallujah, although the task was handled by his larger unit.
GRAPHIC: DANGEROUS AT NIGHT: Kenny Guerrero, at left in top photo, and Rigo Sotomayor, right, both 15, talk about the late-night scene in Lawrence. Angelo Paulino, 17, above, says the crowds are violent because they've been drinking. STAFF PHOTOS BY ANGELA ROWLINGS
LOAD-DATE: August 17, 2005

251 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 17, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 611 words
HEADLINE: Loaded weapon, PTSD a bad mix

Few of us could begin to imagine the kind of horror Marine reservist Daniel Cotnoir encountered during his time in Iraq.

And those who could least imagine it would be that rowdy crew of knuckleheads who huddled outside a Lawrence nightclub at 2:30 Saturday morning and proceeded to hurl a bottle through Cotnoir's bedroom window.

Still, the question remains: Does a soldier's anxiety, coupled with - or in this case, aggravated by - the loutish antics of a bunch of neighborhood jerks equal a shotgun blast out the window?

``I think you can psychopathologize almost anything these days,'' Dr. John Green explained, ``but I have to say that I think the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) defense could be a bit of a stretch here. From what I've read so far, it seems more likely that he was just fed up at all that had been going on and exercised bad judgment.''

Long before Green became a clinical psychologist who has worked with the staff of Boston's VA hospital, he manned a .50-caliber machine gun on a Marine helicopter in Vietnam.

It is not that Green is unsympathetic to a fellow Marine's predicament. Quite the contrary - it's that he's spent so much of his professional life examining what post-traumatic stress disorder is . . . as well as what it is not.

``You can't really get away from the obvious here,'' Green said. ``What's (Cotnoir) doing with a loaded gun? PTSD is an anxiety-related disorder. The basic response to dealing with it is to eliminate anything that can help feed into that anxiety. Access to a loaded weapon is never a good thing, especially not when you're trying to get the hell away from anxiety.''

Cotnoir was not yet born when Green returned from Vietnam. Yet, as Marines, they are bound across a generation by the same training, the same code.

Given the degree of training Cotnoir completed, Green knows that he certainly could've wreaked far more havoc upon those rowdy teens. ``It's clear he wasn't looking to kill anyone,'' he said. ``I'm sure he's stunned he even hit anyone with a shotgun from 30 or 40 yards away.''

Green also doesn't agree with a ``warning shot'' scenario. ``What the Marines drum into your head from day one,'' he said, ``is that you can never have a casual attitude about a weapon. There are far more rules about NOTusing a weapon than the other way around. And then, only as a last resort.''

To underscore the point, Green recalled standing guard duty with a South Vietnamese soldier and Korean marine half a lifetime ago. ``I was there to check the Americans going in and out of the base,'' Green said. ``The last thing my captain said to me was, `Don't shoot anybody.'

``So, along comes this Vietnamese guy on a motor scooter. The Vietnamese soldier asked him to stop. The Korean marine just blew him right off the bike. Killed him right there. If I had done it, I'd still be in Leavenworth.''

Along with the ghastly but noble work Cotnoir was asked to do as a mortician - gathering the remains of his dead comrades in

Share with your friends:
1   ...   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   ...   37

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page