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Hanna Lipman has a birthday today.
Sep 07, 2019 at 4:33 AM
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Steven Wightman has left an In Memory comment for Walter O'Neil.
Jul 05, 2018 at 4:33 PM

A Lasting Tribute to Skippy; Walter “Skip” O’Neil lived in my West Newton neighborhood. Often, we’d meet at his house incidentally to going or coming from NHS. He’d smile and greet me from his River Street yard or porch. I didn’t know Skip well, but I grew to like and respect him. He was at all times friendly, courteous and perceptive. He was a model of a young American man. The kind of young man any parent, brother, sister or friend would be very proud of. Fifty years later, I mentioned his name and loss to Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller while I was training for the Boston Marathon Military Relay Race April of this year. See https://patch.com/massachusetts/newton/why-2-military-vets-will-run-only-newtons-stretch-boston-race. On Marathon Day in all that misery of the worst weather day of the Boston Marathon in 100 years I couldn’t help but think so many Newton veterans and especially Skippy. Had he lived, I think he would have either ran as my teammate or at least cheered me on over the Newton Hills and through the frigid-sheet rains blowing hard out of Boston. Truth be told, he was with me – in spirit – every step of the way because even when my 71-year-old body didn’t want to take another step his smile carried me to the finish. Skip’s military service and his death was emblematic of chaotic times where millions of us firmly believed we were serving the best interests of our nation; protecting our values of truth, justice and freedoms around the world even if it may cost us our lives. In my view then the United States Government could do no wrong. Yet the Pentagon Papers told a very different story: From the Whitehouse across to Capital Hill our leadership knew they were signing death warrants for a war they had already concluded could never be won. The American people and especially our American soldiers, sailors, airmen and women and Coast Guard had been betrayed. In effect our service and our lives if necessary were on the line not for values we and most Americans cherished, but in fact we were used as pons to get incumbents reelected. By mid-1968, MLK and RFK had joined millions of Americans in strongly opposing the War in Vietnam. Speaking truth to power they too became casualties of factions fueling hate and violence. A torch of hope, love and understanding was snuffed out and our nation would never be the same. At the Vietnam War Memorial, my tears weren’t just for Skip. I share this as a classmate not to lament but to reflect with you on how we got to such a horrible place and what we can do about it today beyond holding onto a photo and a memory or saying, “thank you for your service”. Like an artist, each of us can draw our own picture of what Skippy’s life means to us. For this American man it means that he should not die in vain. His life and death means something powerful to me and I don’t think I’m alone. That is that some mix of stupidity, ignorance and greed as a nation got us into the War in Vietnam and kept us there for over a decade. Sound familiar? Well here we are once again today. In 1968 Nixon won by a landslide like what our current Chief now claims. How would our nation and likely our fate be different IF closer to 100% instead of the scant 35% of Americans voted in the last national election – and in practice – all elections? So, my question to myself is how can I be a better person, a better American, a better citizen of planet Earth? I often wrestle with this, but I know the least I can do to honor Skip and 58,000 or so who paid the ultimate price is to always know my candidates and like the day I signed my army enlistment contract in 1966, make a hard choice seeking a better world; always putting the interests and long-term survivability of our nation and our planet ahead of my own. In the 1960’s JFK, MLK, RFK, Skip all had a gunman aim and pull the trigger. Today and as long as I’m around I feel it is my responsibility to reflect on these fifty years and strive to meet JFK’s challenge on what it means to us to be an American. I think Skip would have liked that.

Harriet Rodman posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 04, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Posted on: Feb 14, 2015 at 6:53 PM

This was taken about 13 years ago............

Harriet Rodman added a photo to her profile gallery. New comment added.
Jul 04, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Posted on: Jun 06, 2015 at 10:06 PM

Nicholas Twigg posted a message.
Jul 01, 2017 at 10:08 AM

Happy Birthday.

Oct 16, 2016 at 12:33 PM

RIP sweetie.  Always a SMILE!  from girl scouts to the deli.  <3 


Sep 24, 2016 at 3:27 PM

just checkin on ya. :) how are things going? ltnh. talk to me. <3

June Boisseau Wynn added a photo to her profile gallery. New comment added.
May 20, 2016 at 7:32 AM

Posted on: May 05, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Jan 04, 2016 at 1:44 PM
Jan 04, 2016 at 1:44 PM
Mary Jane (DeCoste) Cavanaugh added a photo to her profile gallery.
Jan 04, 2016 at 1:40 PM
Steven Wightman has left an In Memory comment for Mark Landry.
Nov 27, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Since Elementary school, Mark and me were friends. We put on our first baseball caps together and cheered each other on to the next base. As the smallest, we were sometimes picked on by the biggest in our class. We dusted each other off and formed a life long bond. We kept an infrequent friendship through JH and NHS. At NHS we took shop courses where I'd see him more often. He was always respectful and upbeat. He also seemed to catch my mood with an insightful eye and a smile. Donning shorts in the gym, he and I looked like dwarfs compared to our teammates, but our strength and speed helped us get through prejudices. Although The coaches threw us the dregs for positions and opportunities, we smiled and played on. After graduation, we both put on uniforms; he a USMC and me army. I became a crew chief and repairman on fixed and rotary wing aircraft, he an infantry tunnel rat. His job, picked for his small stature, was to see were tunnels led and destroy the enemy. After our discharges, we met and talked about our own experience's. He seemed to adapt better than me to civilian life. At home, nothing was the same to me but Mark and his smile. We had both survived - narrowly. He remained my only lifelong veteran friend and I miss him this day as a brothe. RIP. Steve

Lois Galer Blackman posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 01, 2015 at 10:58 PM

Posted on: Oct 21, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I am very happy to be part of the Newton North High School online website. Here is a picture of me and my daughter.

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Harriet Rodman added a photo to her profile gallery.
Jun 06, 2015 at 10:06 PM
Harriet Rodman added a photo to her profile gallery.
Jun 06, 2015 at 10:00 PM