June 4, 2009
 
Local Korean War Hero Honored 
By JILLIAN JORGENSON

GOFFSTOWN - There is a new park here with fresh grass, new benches and a shiny white flagpole. But among all that newness, there is now also something old, something a group of Goffstown residents considers sacred: a small monument for a local hero, Sgt. Lionel Favreau, who was killed in 58 years ago during the Korean War.

The monument sat for more than 50 years on an overlooked corner near Cote's Diner, surrounded by heavy traffic, in a place unsafe and unpleasant to visit. Now, after years of trying to find a better spot, the young soldier's monument is finally in a quieter, more permanent place in Abingdon Park.

"It feels good," said Ronald Favreau, Lionel's younger brother, who enlisted in the Army with him but was placed in a different unit after basic training.

"I think the spot where he was wasn't too good . . . It seems to be peaceful over here."

The monument was re-dedicated yesterday by American Legion Post 16 of Goffstown, which raised a flag next to the stone that bears Favreau's name.

Click below for video of the ceremony.

Sgt. Lionel Favreau Monument Re-Dedication in Goffstown

After years of searching by local residents -- including Dick Gagnon, the head of the Greater Goffstown Community Association; Betty Harris, who tended the old site with Cub Scouts Pack 102; Georgette Lavalliere and others -- the monument found its new home when Robert and Anne Cruess, of the TFMoran land-development company, said they had a place for it in a park they were adding to their land on Mast Road.

Favreau was killed in 1950, during the fierce battle of Kunu-ri. Four days into the "Home by Christmas" offensive, the gunner stayed with his tank as hundreds of Chinese soldiers surrounded his combat team, which was trying to lead other units to safety. Favreau continued to fire from inside the burning tank, ignoring orders to abandon his position, so that he could hold the enemy back while others escaped. He died after that battle, at 20 years old.

Ted Eaton, the chaplain for the American Legion Post 16, fought in the same battle, as part of an Army radio relay team.

"It's surprising, because I didn't realize that he was there," Eaton said. "It was a hell of a fight."

Favreau has received many honors, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, and comic-book version of his story, "The Stubborn Sergeant," was included in a volume recounting the tales of real-life wartime heroes. But for years, the honor he had received from Goffstown, that stone marker, had been tucked away in a forgotten spot, where people only stopped because of a red traffic light.

"This is going to be nice. It's in his name, but it's for all veterans," Lionel's older brother, Arthur Favreau, said of the new location.

The old spot for the monument, he said, was a nuisance for drivers because of the way it jutted into the road. "Every time the neighbors had to go around that, they didn't say no prayers," he said.




 

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