Bourne: Community Comes Together for Procession, Funeral of Pembroke WWII Veteran

A color guard was present at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

A color guard was present at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

 

Few people knew Malcolm “Mac” Phillips of Pembroke personally. But when complete strangers found out about his story, they came out to support him.

Phillips, a World War II veteran, passed away earlier this week at the age of 92. When it was time for his funeral services, he was a man who proudly served his county, but a man without close relatives.

The Boidi family, his neighbors and caretakers on Water Street, expected they would be among just a handful of people who would be at the funeral for the Marine and Navy veteran.

Wednesday afternoon, Pembroke Veteran’s Services Director, Robin Renee Kernan, put word out to the American Legion and over social media. The response was instantaneous.

“Non-stop love, prayers, and support,” said Kernan. “People don’t know him, but they know he deserves honor.”

And so they came. Fifty cars were part of the procession from Sullivan Funeral Home in Hanover to his final resting place at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

“I did not know him, I have no connection to him at all, other than that he deserves to have people send him off,” said Karen Price of Pembroke.

Firefighters from Hanover, Duxbury, Kingston, Plymouth, and Bourne lined the roads and saluted from atop overpasses.

People stopped on the shoulders of highways to salute the procession.

“It was really overwhelming. I really can’t even put into words how I feel about that,” said Elaine Boidi. “They took time out of their day, it was raining, and they just stood there and paid respect.”

“We were just overwhelmed with joy. As I saw these people out there, I thought of the send-off,” said Scott Boidi through tears. “Mac was my best friend.”

Those in attendance came from all over surrounding towns, from Whitman to Weymouth. Most never met Phillips. But they wanted to ensure he was not alone on the day of his funeral.

“We’re here so nobody leaves forgotten,” said Navy member Doug Irish. “This gentleman does not have family, so we’re going to be his family.”

After one last ride along Route 3 and along the Cape Cod Canal, Phillips was brought to the Massachusetts National Cemetery. For those who knew Phillips and for those who came out to support him, everyone came together to honor him.

After “Taps” and a ceremony, Elaine Boidi was given the folded flag that adorned Phillips’ casket.

Elaine Boidi was given the folded fag that was on Malcolm Phillips' casket. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Elaine Boidi was given the folded flag that was on Malcolm Phillips’ casket. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

The ceremony at Massachusetts National Ceremony in Bourne. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

The ceremony at Massachusetts National Ceremony in Bourne. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Fifty cars were counted as part of the procession. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Fifty cars were counted as part of the procession. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

 


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About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest addition to the WATD News team. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012 -- his senior year at Pembroke High School. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny left the City of Boston and now lives in Rockland. Lenny has covered extensive events in news and sports, from the trials of James "Whitey" Bulger and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com