Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Monday, Aug. 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Korean War POW to be Laid to Rest, Procession to Travel Through Arlington
ARLINGTON — Arlington’s Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno reports that a prisoner of war (POW), who fought in the Korean War, will finally be laid to rest. Residents are invited to honor the Massachusetts native during a funeral procession in Arlington tomorrow.
On Feb. 12, 1951, Cpl. Ronald M. Sparks, of the U.S. Army, went missing in action (MIA) in the area of Hoengsong, Republic of Korea, while his unit was clearing a road block held by the opposing forces.
A returning prisoner of war reported that Cpl. Sparks died while in captivity at POW Camp 1, Changsong, North Korea, on May 26, 1951.
Cpl. Sparks’ remains will arrive at Boston’s Logan Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and will be escorted past his childhood home in Cambridge. From Cambridge, the escort will continue to DeVito Funeral Home, 1145 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington. The procession entering Arlington will occur at approximately 1-2 p.m.
A wake will be held at DeVito Funeral Home on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 5-8 p.m and graveside services will be conducted at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett on Friday, Aug. 19.
Residents are encouraged to line Massachusetts Ave. on Aug. 16, to welcome home and pay their respects to the fallen hero.
Arlington Police and Fire Departments will participate in the procession as Cpl. Sparks is transported to his final resting place.
“It has been 65 years, but Cpl. Sparks is finally coming home,” said Jeff Chunglo, Arlington’s Director of Veterans’ Services. “We ask that the community join us in participating in this homecoming event for our honored serviceman.”