State Lawmakers Host Gold Star Families For Christmas Tree Dedication

Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State Lawmakers welcomed gold star families to the State House Monday for a special Christmas tree dedication ceremony.

The massive Christmas tree, decorated with bright lights and star-shaped ornaments, is meant to honor the lives of Massachusetts residents who died serving their country. Before the ceremony, gold star families helped decorate the tree and placed of their loved ones on it.

The family of Jacob Galliher was among those in attendance for the ceremony. The Pittsfield native died last month during a training exercise in Japan when the Osprey aircraft he was on crashed and killed eight people. Governor Maura Healey offered her support for the Galliher family.

"I hope you can feel the love of so many in this room and the appreciation for the willingness of your son to step up and serve so admirably as so many do across this country," Governor Healey said.

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Amherst resident Tracy Taylor attended the ceremony, she lost her son Specialist Kevin Iwasinski 16 years ago when a vehicle he was in drove over an IED in Iraq.

"He had wanted to be in the army his whole life," she told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe. "That's all he ever wanted to do. He was a protector."

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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