75 signs hung in Agawam to commemorate town’s fallen heroes

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Agawam Veterans Council hung dozens of signs on street corners Monday, to honor servicemen killed in the line of duty.

Memories of Bill Damato’s cousin, Paul Damato, came rushing back to him Monday, as a black and white sign with his name on it was hung on the corner of Springfield and Rowley Streets in Agawam.

Bill Damato told 22News, his cousin was killed years ago, fighting for our country overseas. “Paul passed on Christmas Eve of 1970. I was down in Maryland, and I couldn’t come back to the funeral because of the snowstorm. I never got that closure, so this is somewhat helpful for that, even though it’s 47-years later,” he said.

For Bill, the sign served as a reminder to never forget our fallen heroes, a message that the Agawam Veterans Council made their mission to spread across the city Monday, one sign at a time.

75 servicemen and women from Agawam have been killed in the line of duty. As a way to honor their memory, the Agawam Veterans Council will hang 75 signs by the streets where they used to live.

Aldo Mancini, the Chairman of the Agawam Veterans Council told 22News, the signs represent a different meaning for different people. “For a lot of people, it represents closure. Paul’s sign, we all grew up together in this neighborhood right here, and when you see that sign and you can relate to it and say, “gee, I might have went to school with them.”

Mancini also said that remembering our servicemen and women should always be a priority. “There’s nobody to honor them but us, so we try to do our best,” he said.

The gesture is one of several that’ll take place in Agawam over the next week leading up to Memorial Day.