Rededicated Hero Square in JP Among First to Get Tech Makeover

Felix G. Arroyo, the city's chief of health and human services, at the rededication of Hero Square honoring Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo at St. Rose and South streets, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

Courtesy of City of Boston Department of Veterans Services

Felix G. Arroyo, the city’s chief of health and human services, at the rededication of Hero Square honoring Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo at St. Rose and South streets, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

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.

A new plaque telling more about Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo was unveiled Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 at St. Rose and South streets.

Chris Helms

A new plaque telling more about Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo was unveiled Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 at St. Rose and South streets.

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.

Here’s the city’s database of squares and parks named for servicemen and women.

Department of Veterans' Services Commissioner Francisco Ureña speaks at the rededication of the hero square honoring Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo.

Department of Veterans' Services

Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Francisco Ureña speaks at the rededication of the hero square honoring Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo.

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).

Carlos Arredondo speaks at the rededication of the hero square honoring his son, Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo.

Department of Veterans' Services

Carlos Arredondo speaks at the rededication of the hero square honoring his son, Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo.