Plymouth: Those who’ve served and those who’ve lost share their story

The Plymouth Memorial Day Parade followed its usual route through downtown and made frequent stops at war memorials before capping off the holiday with a ceremony on the Training Green.

John Koukol, a World War II veteran, was the Grand Marshal.

Koukol was 19-years-old when he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Now at 87-years-old, he told the Memorial Day crowd a remarkable story about his short-lived experience overseas, “A German shell hit the tree overhead while I was standing on guard duty and a piece of the shell went through my leg. While in the hospital my infantry regiment was wiped out—either killed, captured, or wounded. Upon returning home, I felt that I was one of the lucky ones.”

Koukol said he went on to live a fairly normal life despite being disabled from the war injury he suffered.

He asked Plymouth parade goers to keep the town’s Memorial Day tradition alive and to always remember and respect servicemen who make the ultimate sacrifice.

The ceremony also included a guest speaker, a Plymouth woman who shared a story of her fallen brother.

Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino was 34-years-old when he was killed in Afghanistan. His sister Melissa describes him as a quiet and selfless young man who was taken too soon.

“On this Memorial Day let us remember all that our soldiers give to make our freedom possible. America’s warriors give up their own freedom, their families, and in some cases, their lives to protect our country. The least we can do is say a silent prayer for them and to remember them not just on Memorial Day but everyday,” said Melissa Pucino

Seven servicemen with ties to Plymouth have died since September 11th, 2001.

Servicemen salute during Memorial Day ceremony on Training Green

Crowd surrounds war monument on the Training Green

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.