HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Every year before the big parade members of the Holyoke community celebrate the life of President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy was of Irish heritage and was the country’s first Catholic president. Just a few days after St. Patrick’s Day and the day before the parade, the local Irish community makes an effort to honor his life.
At 4:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee held a wreath laying at Holyoke’s JFK Memorial. Following that at 5:30 p.m., the annual JFK Award Mass was held at St. Jerome’s Church, celebrated by Fr. Michael Twohig.
“Honoring him is something that when he was our National Award Winner, it was such a way to honor him and be a part of the city. And it was a great recognition to have the Kennedy family approve this monument and to agree that we could keep and maintain this site, and honor him every year. So it’s very meaningful to come back here,” expressed Holyoke Parade Grand Marshall Jane Chevalier.
The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke is holding its annual JFK Award Reception Saturday evening. The John F. Kennedy National Award honors an American of Irish descent who has distinguished themselves in their chosen field. This year’s winner is actor Lenny Jacobson, who is a Holyoke native.
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