Opinion » Letters

Viva Puerto Rico! Viva America!

Wednesday Nov 23, 2016

As someone who hails from the South End/lower Roxbury neighborhood and grew up there in the 50s and 60s, I remember a time when the Puerto Rican community was near non-existent. As a teen I saw the area around Shawmut Avenue to Tremont Street turn into the first Puerto Rican community.

Back as a child the only Puerto Ricans I actually knew were my Uncle Joe Harringtonis wife, my Aunt Blanca and my four first cousins who were Puerto Rican- Irish while I was Sicilian -Irish. We were all the Irish cousins and joked about it. My favorite Puerto Rican city was Rio Piedras their hometown.

I was unable to get over to the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument on Veterans Day buyt bI was there in spirit remembers all the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the US Army which has served in every US War since World War I.

State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez spoke of his dad who served in WWII and Mayor Walsh brought greeting from the City and stated, "Those represented by this monument " are an inspiration to us and show us the strength of a united community and the importance of throwing yourself into service for others. That's the meaning of bravery and sacrifice.

Jeff Sanchez grew up in Mission Hill and attended Mission School with my nephew Dominic. They were boyhood friends and I remember him and today Sanchez has become a great voice and vote for his constituents and for Boston's Puerto Rican community too.

--Salvator Giarratani