Plaza outside Pope Francis Preparatory School dedicated to Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan

Hampden County

A Veterans Day tribute to the legacy of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan– a monument dedicated in his honor outside Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield.

Springfield native Gunnery Sgt. Sullivan was one of four Marines who was killed in a 2015 shooting attack on a naval reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A navy sailor was also killed in the shooting.

Sullivan was a member of the Class of 1994 at Cathedral High School, which has since merged with the former Holyoke Catholic High School to form Pope Francis Prep.

A U.S. Marine Corps color guard heralded the dedication of this monument the school Monday morning.

“I feel incredibly proud for my brother and all the other alumni who were veteran graduates,” Diane Sullivan said.

The Sullivan family along with the entire student body witnessed the Veterans Day tribute to a fallen hero. The alumni memorial plaza will now be known as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan Plaza.

“This is very heartfelt, the Sullivan family continues its legacy,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said.The monument will serve as inspiration for students and graduates, both past and present, and those who made sacrifices in service to their country.

“When you look at our country today, and all the things that are happening, the division, the animosity, i think you have more people give themselves what Tommy did, serve their country,” Father Mark Mengel said.

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