Leominster, Massachusetts

Johnny Ro Veteran's Memorial Park, located in Leominster, Massachusetts, features a tank and serves as a poignant tribute to the memory of Jonathan Roberge.

Location Added By:

Tom Riley (GoXplr Account)

About This Location

Johnny Ro Veteran's Memorial Park, located in Leominster, Massachusetts, serves as a poignant tribute to the memory of Jonathan Roberge, a Leominster native who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country in Iraq on February 9, 2009. The park's name honors Roberge, and it also commemorates three other soldiers and a translator who were serving alongside him and lost their lives in the same incident. This solemn memorial stands as a testament to the sacrifices made by these brave individuals in defense of their nation.

The origins of the Johnny Ro Veteran's Memorial Park began as a heartfelt initiative by Roberge's family to honor their fallen son's memory by creating a park in his hometown. They were particularly keen on incorporating a real tank into the memorial as a tribute to his military profession. To transform this dream into reality, the Roberge family established the Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park Committee. This committee worked tirelessly to garner support from local businesses and donors, securing the necessary resources to bring the park to fruition.

Given Jonathan Roberge's training as a tank driver, the committee decided that a decommissioned tank would be the most fitting tribute. They embarked on a two-year journey to obtain an M-60A3 tank, graciously provided by the North Carolina National Guard Armory in North Carolina. The tank was transported to Massachusetts and underwent refurbishment, no longer as a weapon of war but as a somber reminder of its cost in human lives.

In 2013, the park's centerpiece, the decommissioned tank, was unveiled to an audience of hundreds of onlookers. To the surprise of many, the tank bore the slogan, "I'm Kind of a Big Deal," a favorite saying of Jonathan Roberge. Additionally, the park features a set of poignant statues depicting the helmets and boots of fallen soldiers, hanging from a rifle embedded in the ground. This serves as a solemn reminder of the broader scope of those mourned at the site. Later, military blast walls were added, which are etched with the names of local soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Visitors to Johnny Ro Veteran's Memorial Park can gain a deeper understanding of its significance by exploring the informational kiosk, which tells the story behind the park and explains the meaning behind each of its memorial features. The kiosk also displays photographs of members of the armed forces from Massachusetts who lost their lives in the Global War on Terrorism, further emphasizing the park's purpose as a place of remembrance and reflection.

The park offers convenient access, with a well-maintained gravel parking lot that accommodates approximately two dozen vehicles. Parking is not only free but typically readily available. The park remains open every day until dusk, providing ample opportunities for visitors to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

While in the area, visitors may consider exploring other local attractions, such as the Birthplace of Johnny Appleseed and the Grave of Joseph Palmer. These sites offer additional insights into the history and heritage of Leominster, Massachusetts, making for a comprehensive and enriching visit to the area.

Location Features

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788 Mechanic Street, Leominster, Massachusetts

GPS Coordinates:
42.519955, -71.726752
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
There is ample parking located right at the park off Mechanic Street. Parking is free and there is room for just about 2 dozen cars.


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