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Iraq or Afghanistan during the past year as a photograph of each one is shown on the screen.

The Memorial Day special, titled ``The Fallen,'' will air tonight, and ``Nightline'' will be extended from its usual 30-minute broadcast to about 45 minutes to allow time for all the names to be read, ABC said.

Tapping settles down

Family values are behind the decision by renowned violist Roger Tapping to give up life on the road with the prestigious Takacs Quartet and settle in Boston. This fall Tapping will join his wife, cellist Natasha Brofsky, as a member of the faculty at the New England Conservatory. Tapping and Brofsky have two daughters, ages 2 and 6. ``It became apparent that the best decision for our family was for us to move together to Boston, making it necessary for me to leave the quartet,'' Tapping said in a statement. - T.J. MEDREK

Copley concert Friday

- Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men, Friday, Copley Square Plaza. The free concert starts at 5:30 p.m.

Compiled by Sandra Kent from staff and wire reports.
LOAD-DATE: May 30, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
May 29, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 302 words
HEADLINE: Flower child wins memorial battle

Collin Kelly arrived at Edgell Grove Cemetery in Framingham yesterday to place flowers on soldiers' graves, only to find the eyes of a nation upon him and decades of emotions buried deep.

The 9-year-old boy gained national attention last week after he came up with the idea to plant marigolds at 156 veterans' graves by Memorial Day, but was blocked by the cemetery's board of trustees from planting them on other families' graves.

The board's decision prompted an outcry from local veterans - and national media attention - until they agreed to a compromise: Collin could place geraniums on the graves, and cemetery workers would later remove them.

``You did an awesome thing - you did,'' Marine Cpl. John Grigg, a Framingham man who has served two tours in Iraq, told Collin as he swept him up in his arms. ``Don't let anyone tell you no when it comes to honoring veterans.''

Yesterday, Collin seemed excited by the attention, but a bit overwhelmed.

``I keep trying to sleep, and the next thing I know, I'm up with a reporter at the door,'' said Collin, who went to New York a few days ago to appear on NBC's ``Today Show.''

Veterans and their families greeted the young boy with pins, patches and offers to visit military bases.

``For a young man to have that level of depth and compassion is remarkable,'' said Framingham's Kathie Krager, who was visiting soldiers' graves yesterday.

Collin's work is not yet done. He is the guest of honor at Framingham's Memorial Day services tomorrow, and has been invited to appear as a guest on ``The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.''

Juan Garrity, a Marine veteran and Framingham resident, said he hopes Collin's actions will inspire patriotism in other young people.

``Not only the dead,'' he said, ``but you need to help celebrate the ones who come back from their tours of duty.''
GRAPHIC: ATTA BOY: Marine Cpl. John Grigg embraces Collin Kelly at Edgell Grove Cemetery in Framingham yesterday. Metrowest Daily News photo
LOAD-DATE: May 29, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
May 28, 2005 Saturday

LENGTH: 209 words
HEADLINE: Special pay for wounded moves closer to reality

WASHINGTON - Winthrop Marine Lance Cpl. James Crosby's effort to give combat-wounded soldiers special pay while they recover moved closer to becoming law with a U.S. House vote last week.

``It will make such an impact,'' said Crosby's father, Kevin. ``My son is in constant pain 24 hours a day. No amount of money can ever make up for that, but at least there's something for these people and their families who have been torn apart.''

A rocket attack in Iraq last year left the younger Crosby, 20, paralyzed from the waist down. When he left Iraq, his combat pay was cut while he fought for his life.

The measure, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Malden), would give $430 a month to soldiers who are wounded and evacuated from the combat zone.

The special pay would continue until a soldier receives a new form of insurance for traumatic injuries received in combat - no less than a lump sum of $25,000 and as high as $100,000, depending on the injury's severity.

The measure is part of a $442 billion defense bill for fiscal year 2006. The Senate will take it up in June.

The original bill was named the Crosby-Puller Combat Wounds Compensation Act in honor of Crosby, 20, and Lt. General Lewis ``Chesty'' Puller, the most decorated Marine in history.
GRAPHIC: CROSBY: Paralyzed by a rocket attack while serving in Iraq.

BATTLING ON: A U.S. House vote last week brings closer to reality a law proposed by Winthrop Marine Lance Cpl. James Crosby to give combat-wounded soldiers special pay while they recover. HERALD FILE PHOTO
LOAD-DATE: May 28, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
May 28, 2005 Saturday

LENGTH: 198 words
HEADLINE: Music event remembers Iraqi civilian casualties

As Americans remember their fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, a different kind of remembrance will take place on City Hall Plaza, where up to 100 musicians will perform in memory of Iraqi civilian casualties.

``Collateral Damage Noted,'' scheduled for 11 a.m., will be presented by the Mobius Artists Group.

Each volunteer musician will sing or play one note for each death as reported on the Web site Earlier this week, that estimate was 21,795 to 24,735.

Organizer Tom Plsek, chairman of Berklee College of Music's brass department, called the event a ``human statement'' rather than a political one. ``In the war in Iraq there are civilians who have paid an incredible price, and we don't tend to know that,'' Plsek said.

When told of the event, Robert Stevens, director of Veterans' Services for the city of Cambridge, was dismayed by the timing. ``My heart goes out to the innocent civilians of Iraq that have lost their lives in the global war we're fighting against terrorism,'' Stevens said. ``I believe there's a time and place they should be recognized and memorialized. But not on our most solemn holiday, purposely set aside to honor and remember our war dead.''
LOAD-DATE: May 28, 2005

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The Boston Herald
May 27, 2005 Friday

LENGTH: 626 words
HEADLINE: Ferrara deal gives new meaning to blind justice

Fifteen-and-a-half years in federal prison has diminished Vincent ``The Animal'' Ferrara in two ways: He told a judge he's been afflicted with ``poor elocution'' and haunted by an ``intrinsic sadness.''

Quite a mouthful for an incendiary Mafioso, whose tempestuous coup to become Boss back in 1989 ended with one guy floating in the Connecticut River and another shot up like a clay pigeon in front of a Saugus pancake house.

Ah, but that was some 20 years ago, when Vinnie spoke so much clearer. For example, even though Harry ``Doc'' Sagansky was 86 years old at the time, the legendary old bookmaker had no trouble understanding Vinnie when he came looking for $500,000 in ``rent.''

Vinnie made it all sound so simple. Gennaro Angiulo, the paternal Don of the North End, was in jail. It was a new day. Vinnie appointed himself the new Boss. And the charming old dentist-turned-congenial crook realized he could have his brittle bones pulverized same as any other bleeping bookie. Vinnie's elocution was perfect.

Yesterday, The Animal rejoined polite society. A federal appeals court agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf's assessment that The Animal has been neutered, so to speak.

Now, there are a few peoplein and around the North End who would strenuously beg to differ. Carmine DiNunzio for one. The Cheese Man's considerable bulk allegedly occupies the spot that Vinnie so ruthlessly coveted, back when he was speaking plainly.

The Animal now claims ``I want to use the other half of my brain.'' But folks like Carmine, they only remember the first half of Vinnie's brain, the half that threatened to run people's hands through meat grinders and rip their tongues out.

Now, it's difficult for them to ever picture Vinnie, and his brain, humbly serving up shrimp scampi with his daughter in a ristorante called ``Vinnie & Bianca's.''

Few thugs get the chance to walk free, saying ``I feel vindicated.'' But Judge Wolf allowed Vinnie to excoriate those ``crooked prosecutors'' who give honest gangsters a bad name.

The judge is convinced Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Auerhahn deep-sixed a police report about a murder witness who changed his tune. Seems Walter Jordan never meant to say Vinnie ordered Jimmy Limoli's extinction.

``Of course, Walter had himself a religious experience,'' one North Ender said. ``He saw his life flash before his eyes. Change his testimony, or die like Jimmy.

``Just my opinion, but I'm guessin' the fed knew Walter was probably lyin' to save his skin and couldn't stand the idea of Vinnie skipping out of jail.''

But justice is supposed to be blind. Even an ambitious gangster, whose dreams of becoming Godfather were sidetracked by a multi-layered indictment for extortion, racketeering and murder, is entitled to every last drop of justice.

Yesterday morning, Vinnie strolled out of the Moakley Courthouse as if he were coming home from Iraq. Not JUST a gangster, but a martyr of the justice system.

Meanwhile, another community will brace itself for Vinnie's return and as they do, they will recall the unfortunate Sonny Grasso, who turned up floating in the river, and Frank Salemme, the star-crossed Mafia boss ambushed on his way to breakfast, and the names of maybe a half-dozen hapless slugs whose very existence filled Vinny with a great deal of intrinsic sadness.

``Not too many people want to go back to those days,'' said the North Ender. ``But they know Vinnie's not going to sit still. People want to make money, not war. And when he was around, Vinny was all about making war.''

The concern is that sooner rather than later, Vincent ``The Animal'' Ferrara's ``poor elocution'' is going to improve dramatically. And when it does, few people will have any trouble understanding the gangster behind the Ray Bans.
LOAD-DATE: May 27, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
May 27, 2005 Friday

LENGTH: 337 words
HEADLINE: Editorial;

Women at war with no strings

Perhaps it's the rush to get out for the Memorial Day recess, but it seems good sense is spreading on Capitol Hill these days. The latest example is the welcome change of heart by House Republicans on further restricting women in combat.

The last place Congress should put itself is between military commanders and the battlefield. Codifying the outdated 1994 rule barring women from direct combat roles as a rider to a defense bill would have done just that.

The restriction on women in combat is already being recognized for the anachronism it is. With the battlefront no longer ``linear,'' in Pentagon parlance, it makes little sense to restrict women from further deployment in support units such as communications, medical assistance, maintenance and supplies to ``protect'' them.

``Modern wars will be fought 360 degrees, which means women will be on the `front lines' whether the Congress likes it or not,'' retired Army Col. Dan Smith told USA Today.

The compromise of requiring the Pentagon to get an OK from Congress some 60 days in advance of shifting women into different roles (an extension of the current 30-day rule) is hardly as odious but still nonsensical when it's widely understood that a nimble military is a modern wartime necessity.

USA Today also recently put some flesh and blood on the bones of the debate when it ran a front page photo of Lt. Dawn Halfaker sporting a prosthetic right arm. She was wounded in Iraq when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her armored Humvee.

``Women in combat is not really an issue. It is happening,'' she told the paper.

It is happening not because the Pentagon is going around its own rule. It's happening because that is the nature of war today.

Of some 9,000 military women who have served in Iraq, 37 have been killed, representing 2 percent of the casualties. It would have been a disservice to those 37 heroines to engrave in law that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were doing the job they signed up to do - serving our country honorably.
LOAD-DATE: May 27, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
May 26, 2005 Thursday

LENGTH: 239 words
HEADLINE: Marine to aid boy's tribute after cemetery relents

FRAMINGHAM - A U.S. Marine back from combat in Iraq will help 9-year-old Collin Kelly place flowers on the graves of long-dead veterans at Edgell Grove Cemetery Saturday, after the Cemetery Commission relented, allowing the tribute as long as the flowers are gone after Memorial Day.

Collin, due in New York this morning for NBC's ``Today'' show, will place geraniums on the veterans' graves with Marine Cpl.

John Grigg, 23. Grigg said red geraniums are what women placed on the bodies of men on Civil War battlefields.

Grigg, who fought in the second battle of Fallujah, said he was angered when commissioners denied Collin's plan to plant two marigolds on each soldier's grave. The commissioners had said cemetery rules allow only family members to plant on graves.

``It inflamed me,'' Grigg said.

He contacted Collin's mother, Lynn, and said he'd go with the family to place geraniums on each grave. The Natick American Legion post will provide the flowers, he said. Grigg learned yesterday the commissioners had backpedaled, but the Marine said he was prepared to accompany young Collin in his dress blues anyway, because a presidential order allows decorating of soldiers' graves on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

``I thought it would be cool for him to have a Marine go with him,'' Grigg said. ``Here's a little boy who, I don't know if he fully understands it or not, but the fact that he wants to honor veterans is an amazing thing.''
LOAD-DATE: May 26, 2005

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The Boston Herald
May 25, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 261 words
HEADLINE: Guardsmen salute Romney legislation

Massachusetts National Guardsmen were elated to hear Gov. Mitt Romney announce yesterday that he filed legislation to raise their pay and give them free educations at state colleges.

``My initial reaction is this is great. This is really going to help me out personally,'' said Army Guard Sgt. John Brown, 31, of Quincy, who spends $1,700 on fees each semester for his post-graduate courses in international relations at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

``It's nice to be recognized with greater benefits,'' said Brown, a full-time Guardsmen at the armory on Victory Road in Dorchester.

``It shows that people realize the greater role the Guard is playing,'' he said, referring to the 9,600 Bay State men and women who have been called on to support the war in

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