The city is adding biographies and “quick response codes” to hero square memorials so residents can quickly find out more about the military men and women for whom those corners are named.
On Monday, family members of Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo, a Marine killed in action during the Iraq War in 2004, joined dignitaries for a re-dedication of the corner of St. Rose and South streets.
That corner has honored the JP-bred soldier for a decade. On Monday, officials unveiled a more extensive plaque that tells more of Alex Arredondo’s story.
Alex Arredondo, raised in Jamaica Plain, was the son of Carlos Arredondo, a well-known figure in the neighborhood for his anti-war and pro-veteran advocacy.
Eventually, passersby with smart phones can learn even more about Alex Arredondo by snapping an image of the QR code on the lower left of the plaque. That will take users to a page on the city’s website where family members, historians and others can add further information and photos. As of Tuesday, the text at the city’s web page for Alex Arredondo simply matched the text on the sign.
The rededication of Alex Arredondo’s square is one of the first dozen done so far. Eventually, Veterans’ Services Department Commissioner Francisco Ureña hopes to partner with city residents to add depth to the memorials for all 1,200 hero squares across Boston.
“No other city has done it the way we’re doing it here in Boston,” Ureña said of the effort in a Tuesday phone interview. “At the end of the day, that’s our promise to the families, that we will always remember.”
If you are the family member of someone honored at one of the city’s hero squares, or simply someone interested in helping with the project of updating the memorials, you can call 617-241-VETS (8387).