September 1, 2008 ~ Labor Day~ was the appropriate day to honor John Ramey. Ramey, a Lebanese immigrant mill worker, was killed by a bayonet during the Strike of 1912
(The strike is also known as the Bread and Roses strike. September 1, Labor Day was also the 24th Bread and Roses Festival in the Common.)
Three people died during the 1912 strike and Ramey was the third one to have a memorial stone placed in the Lawrence cemetery. The other two mill workers who died as a result of strike activity were Anna Lopizzo, a 34-year-old Italian millworker who was struck by a police bullet on Jan. 29, 1912, and Jonas Smolskas, a Lithuanian immigrant who was killed half a year after the strike by a group of men who objected to his labor pin.
The memorial stone was funded by the American Lebanese Awareness Association(ALAA). Jonas Stundzia kept the idea alive until today - and with the support of the Lebanese organization, it finally came to fruition.
The memorial event, presided over by Monsignor Peter Azar of Lawrence and St. Anthony's Maronite Church, was attended by about 75 people - some of Arabic descent; others devoted to the history of the Strike and others who are devoted to the history of Lawrence.
The Lawrence History Center has a comprehensive collection of material related to the Strike and its aftermath - published books; photographs; oral histories; US Congressional material and a plethora of news clippings from many languages depicting the day to day account of this very historic and important event for labor history and for Lawrence, MA.
See the Boston Globe article for information about John Ramey: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/09/01/an_in...
For more information about the ALAA see: http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/local_slideshow_172125536
See the NECN video of the event@ http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/A-history-of-Labor-Day/1220321845...
Scroll to middle of page and press play video under "A history of Labor Day."