It was a process that took nearly a year but on Saturday, November 13 Florence “Flo” Johnson’s name was finally added to her son Edward’s Hero Square Memorial at the corner of Union Street and Washington Street in Charlestown.
City Councilor Lydia Edwards got the ball rolling on having Johnson’s name added to her son’s memorial and the City Councilor voted unanimously on Feb. 12 to make it happen.
The move honors Mrs. Johnson for her service to the National and Gold Start families. Mrs. Johnson was also a veteran of World War II and served in the US NAvy.
She became a tremendous advocate for Gold Star families following the death of her son during the Vietnam War.
Mrs. Johnson’s son Edward or “Teddy” was born on February 16, 1946 in Boston. As a resident of Charlestown Edward was inducted into the United States Marine Corps on December 11, 1965 and began active duty that same day. Edward served as a Lance Corporal with the Force Logistical Command, 3rd Military Police Battalion, 1st Force Service Rgt, and D Company. He was killed in action on August 27, 1967 in South Vietnam, Quang Nam Province as a result of injuries sustained from hostile rocket and mortar attack while on an outpost. For the heroism displayed in his service to our country, Edward was awarded the Purple Heart.
“On Veterans Day we thank all who have served our country through military service,” said Councilor Edwards. “This weekend, we celebrated a very special veteran in Charlestown. Florence “Flo” Johnson joined the Navy during World War II and served honorably. Her son Edward joined the Marines and was killed in Vietnam in 1967. Following his death, Flo dedicated her life to serving veterans and Gold Star families. She was President of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Gold Star Mothers and a member of the Abraham Lincoln Post #11 G.A.R. of Charlestown. We are proud to commemorate Flo Johnson and her service with a memorial plaque under her son Edward’s Hero Square memorial. It’s a small token of appreciation for Flo Johnson for everything she did for veterans and Gold Star families throughout her life.”
Edwards, whose own mother is a US Military Veteran, added, “It’s also important that we recognize all of our veterans, especially the women who joined in 1944.”
The Johnsons’ Hero Square officially became the first Hero Square in Boston to honor both a mother and son for their service to the country at one location.
“Flo was an icon in Charlestown, Massachusetts and around the country,” said Rep. Dan Ryan. “Her energy and humor lit up every event she attended. As a veteran herself, and a Gold Star mom, she was a driving force behind the many programs and events that exist today that help us remember the fallen and the families of those who have served. She now has her place of remembrance with her beloved son Teddy.”