CORRECTED: Anti-death penalty group to hold annual Sacco-Vanzetti memorial Aug. 23
Editor's note: The Catholic Charities Agency of the Springfield Diocese is not a sponsor of this event.
SPRINGFIELD – To commemorate the 86th anniversary of the executions of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Hampden County Chapter of the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty will sponsor an Aug. 23 memorial service.
The service will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bishop Marshall Center adjacent to St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield.
The event, which has been held annually since 1991, also will honor former Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, who has worked for the abolition of the death penalty. In 1977, Gov. Dukakis issued a proclamation stating that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names."
Gov. Dukakis, who also will be the main speaker for the Aug. 23 event, will receive the Ken Childs Award, given in honor of the late Ken Childs, a social justice activist, who was the principal organizer of the Hampden County Chapter of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty in 1991.
Gov. Dukakis has had a long career of public service characterized by an active promotion and defense of civil liberties and civil rights. As a matter of public policy, he has consistently opposed the death penalty throughout his career. He served three, four-year terms as governor of Massachusetts and was the Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 1988.
After serving as governor, he served on the board of directors for Amtrak, and became a professor of political science at Northeastern University; a visiting professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University; and a visiting professor in the Department of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs at UCLA.
Western Massachusetts folk singer and social justice activist, Ben Grosscup will provide musical entertainment.
The Bishop Marshall Center at St. Michael’s Cathedral is air conditioned and is located at the corner of State and Elliott streets. There will be free public parking available. The general public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.