Published in the November 15, 2017 edition

LOCAL OFFICIALS presented the Todd family with the original Todd Lane street sign during the unveiling of the new Todd Lane Gold Star street sign on Nov. 10. From left, Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett, Veterans’ Services Officer Bruce Siegel, Charles Todd, David Wolfe and Susan Todd Wolfe. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The Todd brothers were remembered for their sacrifice, as 300 residents gathered at the corner of Todd Lane and Summer Street to honor the two fallen World War II heroes during the first of two Veterans’ Day ceremonies on Nov. 10.

The town unveiled a brand new Gold Star street sign commemorating Army Private David B. Todd and his older brother Army First Lt. Charles N. Todd. The Todd brothers were killed in Germany at the end of World War II. David Todd was killed on Nov. 21, 1944 and Charles N. Todd was killed on March 8, 1945.

Todd Lane was named in the two brothers’ honor in the 1970’s. After moving to town, Todd Lane resident Lou Trapasso began placing two American flags on the street sign to honor the Todd brothers. A year ago, Trapasso reached out to Veterans’ Services Officer Bruce Siegel to see if a memorial could be installed on the street sign in order to recognize the two brothers and their sacrifice to the United States.

The selectmen voted earlier this fall to erect Gold Star street signs honoring the fallen Lynnfield heroes.

“Today, we recognize and reflect (on) the tremendous sacrifice they made for our great country,” said Siegel.

The Todd brothers’ nephew, Charles Todd, thanked the town for recognizing his uncles, particularly Trapasso, Siegel and local historian Helen Breen.

“I am deeply grateful to the town of Lynnfield for having gotten together so faithfully to honor Lynnfield’s veterans,” said Todd. “I am deeply appreciative of recalling the memory of these gallant men who helped the cause during World War II. I am overwhelmed that it’s being beautifully represented on Veterans’ Day. This will help our family take more seriously the sacrifices of Charles and David. We feel a tremendous sense of loss of never having met them or known them. They have certainly left a very wonderful legacy, and you have demonstrated that legacy. We are deeply, deeply grateful.”

In addition to paying tribute to the Todd brothers, a commemorative Gold Star street sign recognizing Daniel Townsend was unveiled. Townsend perished on April 19, 1775 in the first battle of the Revolutionary War. A ceremony unveiling that new sign will take place at a later date.

Siegel noted American Legion historian Ray Perez, who lives in France, sent him a Facebook message stating he would be visiting the Todd brothers’ respective European burial sites over Veterans’ Day weekend.

“It’s a great tribute on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Siegel.

After Siegel concluded his opening remarks, David Wolfe, a member of the Todd family, unveiled the Gold Star street sign along with a new Todd Lane sign featuring a Gold Star. Applause erupted when the signs were unveiled.

Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett welcomed residents to the ceremony. He thanked Trapasso, Siegel and Breen for working together to make the Todd Lane Gold Star street sign initiative come to fruition. He also thanked DPW Director John Tomasz for his assistance with developing the new signs, which he said are “worthy of the men it represents.”

“At this very spot and at this moment, the town of Lynnfield honored and chose to honor once again our beloved memory of two brothers — two World War II American heroes — Private First Class David B. Todd and First Lt. Charles N. Todd, and Revolutionary War hero Minuteman Daniel Townsend,” said Barrett.

Barrett said the Todd brothers “had a full life in front them filled with much hope and a family that truly loved them back home.”

“These two young men were the beloved sons of a family long dedicated to our great town,” said Barrett. “These boys of Lynnfield answered the call of duty when America and, most importantly, the world needed them most.”

As the “dark shadow of war descended upon Europe and the Pacific” during World War II, Barrett said “the yearn for liberation was heard loudly around the globe, especially in our community.”

“These heroic brothers laid down their own lives to confirm the eternal truth that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for their fellow man,” said Barrett.

Barrett said over 70 Thanksgiving Days have passed since the Todd brothers “paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

“But a day hasn’t gone by when we haven’t stopped to thank God that such men lived,” said Barrett. “A loving mother, a loving father, a loving family and a loving town lost their beloved David and Charles. But the cause of liberty gained two monumental heroes who died so that we could live in a world free from tyranny.”

While Barrett said “centuries may separate Lynnfield heroes like Daniel Townsend and the Todd brothers,” he added “the eternal cause of liberty bonds them forever as an important reminder that the struggle for liberty continues at this very moment.”

In closing, Barrett said the Gold Star street signs will serve as “a reminder of the significant sacrifice our town has made and continues to make for the United States of America.”

“In this troubled world filled with much darkness, America always finds hope in our veterans because it is our men and women in uniform, especially our Gold Star veterans, who light the way and give us much hope knowing that all that we hold and cherish as a nation, as a community, as families, is protected because of the men and women who stand ever-ready to lay down their lives for each and every one of us,” said Barrett.

After Barrett concluded his remarks, State Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading) said it was an honor to attend the ceremony.

“It’s always a privilege to represent Lynnfield and acknowledge all that you are doing to remember veterans,” said Jones. “It’s a wonderful thing that you are doing to keep their memories alive and their sacrifice alive.”

After Jones finished his speech, Barrett presented Charles Todd and his sister, Susan Todd Wolfe, and his grand nephew David with the original Todd Lane street sign.

“Your family members made a significant sacrifice for our country,” said Barrett. “As a small token of our gratitude, we would like to give you the street sign that stood as a wonderful memorial to the service of your loved ones.”

After Siegel concluded his closing remarks, an honor guard fired shots into the air, formally recognizing the Todd brothers’ sacrifice and ushering in a new era of remembrance in town.