Drivers going over the Bourne Bridge Monday morning, July 14, may have noticed a Bourne Fire Department ladder truck hoisting a large American flag. The truck was situated at the entrance to the state police barracks, just off the Bourne Bridge Rotary. The flag was displayed as part of a tribute by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes to Marine Lance Corporal Walter “Gator” O’Haire of Rockland.
The request for the ladder truck was made by Renee Jacobs of the Fallen Heroes group. Ms. Jacobs said that Lance Corporal O’Haire was killed in action in Fallujah, Iraq, on May 9, 2007, at the age of 20. His death occurred just six days ahead of his 21st birthday. His family had his body cremated and his remains have been at his mother’s home in Rockland since his death, she said. Recently, Ms. O’Haire made arrangements for her son to be buried at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Lance Corporal O’Haire’s burial took place on July 14.
“Police officers, the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial riders, and many other motorcycle riding veterans and supporters will be in attendance to escort Lcpl. O’Haire from his mother’s Rockland home, to his final resting place,” Ms. Jacobs wrote in an e-mail to Bourne Fire Chief Martin Greene.
Ms. Jacobs’s e-mail noted that Massachusetts Fallen Heroes is a recognized 501(c)(3) charity that holds events throughout the year to honor “those who have served, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
She added that even though Lance Corporal O’Haire’s death happened in 2007, “we believe that a hero should be honored the way a hero deserves to be honored whether it has been seven years or seven days.”