90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, December 24, 2012

Essay: Remembering The Troops This Christmas

In 2007, the town of Natick dedicated a square in honor of Carlo Intinarelli, who was killed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1944 in Noirefontaine, Belgium. (Alex Ashlock/Here & Now)

In 2007, the town of Natick dedicated a square in honor of Carlo Intinarelli, who was killed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1944 in Noirefontaine, Belgium. (Alex Ashlock/Here & Now)

According to the website icasualties.org, 307 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012, 10 this month. Here are just a few of them: Staff Sgt. Nelson D. Trent, 37, of Austin, Texas; Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Reid, 26, of Rochester, N.Y. and Sgt. Michael J. Guillory, 28, of Pearl River, La.

Trent died on Dec. 13 in Kandahar, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Reid died Dec. 13 in Landstuhl, Germany from wounds suffered on Dec. 9, in Sperwan Village, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an IED. Guillory was killed Dec. 14 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province. Their families got the visit all military families dread.

In wars past the families of the fallen got a telegram. That’s what happened to the family of Carlo Intinarelli in Natick, Mass., 68 years ago this week. Carlo was killed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1944 in Noirefontaine, Belgium. He had 14 brothers and sisters, and eight Intinarelli boys served in the military during World War II. Cpl. Intinarelli was a member of the 82nd Airborne’s 551st Parachute Infantry, which dropped behind enemy lines in August of 1944.

“He went from northern France 860 miles to the Battle of the Bulge, where he was killed in action there,” his brother Rich said. “They found him and he was frozen and he had his rosary beads in his hands.”

In 2007, the town of Natick dedicated a square in honor of Carlo Intinarelli. It’s at the corner of Speen and Mill streets where the Intinarelli boys used to search for bottles and other items they could cash in for money to go to the movies.

On Christmas Eve, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the nation. “The Christmas spirit lives tonight in the bitter cold of the front lines in Europe and in the heat of the jungles and swamps of Burma and the Pacific islands. Even the roar of our bombers and fighters in the air and the guns of our ships at sea will not drown out the messages of Christmas which come to the hearts of our fighting men.”

This Christmas, the fighters are men and women, thousands of them serving in harm’s way in Afghanistan. Hopefully they’ll hear some Christmas messages.

President & Mrs. Obama’s happy holidays message to U.S. troops:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Placidio Rivera

    Personally I find any comments made by the president and his
    wife to our military to be nauseating. The commander in chief telling the
    troops how proud he is but yet can’t wait to cut military spending which in the
    end always directly affects the soldier and their families. Raises that are
    almost nonexistent, cut benefits, a draw down that impacts many who have
    faithfully serviced their country in America’s time of need and the list goes
    on. As a veteran it sickens me to have an individual like this as the leader of
    our once great military. And for the record I have wife that is active duty
    Army deployed in Afghanistan. The comments here are my views.

  • Robin Y

    Thanks for this reminder Alex! 

    Merry Christmas (AND GO HOME!!!)

  • Pointpanic

    Let’s support our troops by getting them out of  lie fueld wars of occupation that have no bearing on national security.

  • Josh Ostroff

    Alex, thanks for this remembrance and acknowledgement of our troops and their families.

  • Pcarew

    Thank you for the kind words for our veterans of this war and past.  Natick has always tried to honor those who have served and are presently serving.  If you walk in my office you will see 25 packages for our troops overseas and 5 large boxes of items for our homeless shelters.   This is the donaitions of our local community who care, like yourself.
    Thank you Paul Carew VSO Natick, President NSVSOA

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 28 5 Comments

Rob Reiner Reflects On Making Movies From ‘And So It Goes’ To ‘Princess Bride’

The actor and director has been making people laugh for decades.

July 28 3 Comments

New HBO Documentary ‘Love Child’ Looks At Gaming Addiction

"Love Child" tells the story of a South Korean couple whose baby starved to death while they cared for a virtual child.

July 25 Comment

Ebola Epidemic Strikes Top Health Worker

NPR's Jason Beaubien just returned from Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia is suffering from the worst ever Ebola outbreak.

July 25 Comment

ER Physician Documents ‘Lost Underground’ Of WWI

Soldiers carved artwork into the walls of vast quarry systems beneath the trenches that defined the war.