This weekend I went to the 25th anniversary memorial service for the slain Springfield police officers Michael Schiavina and Alain Beauregard.
As described in The Springfield Republican:
Beauregard, 29, and Schiavina, 28, were shot Nov. 12, 1985, during a traffic stop on Stebbins Street, off State Street in the city’s Old Hill neighborhood. Schiavina died that night, and Beauregard died three days later.
The shooter, Eduardo Ortiz, killed himself 17 hours after the shooting in a Plainfield Street hide-out as police moved in.
Frankly, I have never heard any insider tell me that they believed that Ortiz (known as "Crazy Eddie" on the street) committed suicide with his own gun. Instead it is always suggested that the police made an executive decision to spare the taxpayers a lengthy and expensive trial, especially since they felt that justice could never be served in a state such as Massachusetts which does not have the death penalty.
But people tell me the damnedest things, so who knows? Anyway it was a nice ceremony, featuring sirens going off all over the city at the exact moment when 25 years earlier the shots rang out. I was surprised not to see more Springfield politicians in attendance. Congressman Richard Neal, who was Mayor at the time of the tragedy, was conspicuous in his absence. Oh that's right, I forgot, the campaign is over. I personally spotted only four elected officials in attendance: Mayor Dominic Sarno, new D.A. to-be Mark Mastroianni, City Councilor James Ferrara and School Committee member Chris Collins.
At the end, some very nice keepsake brochures were passed out to the crowd:
Inside were reproductions of the badges of the fallen:
Speaking of memorials, at UMass on Veteran's Day this honor guard stood at attention outside Memorial Hall.
Elsewhere on campus there was this wall to memorialize the fall of the Berlin Wall 21 years ago.
Students were invited to take hammers and tear down the hated symbol of leftist oppression.
Plastered all over campus the same day were these posters calling for a big pro-marijuana rally.
Of course I had to check it out. When I arrived a group of protesters had already formed.
These guys were literally trying to drum up a crowd. At its peak there were about 75 people present at the rally.
The usual suspects were on hand, such as pot politician Dan Melick (far left) and libertarian leader Terry Franklin (far right) shown here conversing with a student marijuana activist.
The signs people made were both clever and funny.
Others were a little more extreme.
At one point an authoritative looking person in a suit and tie came out and complained about the obscenities on some of the signs, but did not try to confiscate them. Indeed, his displeasure only made people with "fuck" signs wave them more enthusiastically.
At least there was nothing as tasteless as this dumpster outside a UMass frathouse.
Let me leave you with a chalk portrait of the Sun I came upon on the woodland way into downtown Northampton.