The Town of Winthrop celebrated the lives of David Green and Ramona Cooper at a Candlelight Vigil for Unity and Hope July 1 at Winthrop Town Hall.
Mr. Green, 68, and Ms. Cooper, 60, were killed in a tragic incident on June 26 in the town.
Interim Town Manager Terence Delehanty presided over the ceremony that was attended by hundreds of Winthrop residents.
Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Suffolk County DA Rachel Rollins, Sheriff Steven Tompkins, Town Council President Philip Boncore, State Sen. Joseph Boncore, former House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, and State Reps. Jeffrey Turco, Adrian Madaro, and Jessica Giannino also joined the Winthrop community at the program that was conducted under a highly visible presence of law enforcement personnel.
“Thank you all for coming to tonight’s vigil,” began Delehanty. “I just want all of us to pay remembrance to Ramona Cooper and Dave Green. I want to also make sure that tonight is about the victims. It’s about us supporting the victims and their families that were taken from us way too early in a devastating incident last Saturday.
“But I also want to thank the Cooper and Green families for coming today to help us heal. This is truly what Winthrop is about. This support in the time of crisis is what always Winthrop has been about.
“I promise both families tonight that their loved ones were not lost in vain,” said Delehanty. “I promise them we won’t just remember them tonight, we’ll remember them next week, next month, and next year. I want to thank both families to our country and to our state.”
Joshua Schreiber, rabbinical intern at Temple Tifereth Israel of Winthrop, played the guitar while presenting a song of prayer and hope for the future.
The Rev. Christopher O’Connor gave the opening prayer. “Lord, bring healing and peace to our Winthrop community,” said the Rev. O’Connor. “We beg you, welcome the souls of David and Ramona into the gift of Heaven. May the light of their memories, their heroism, their innocence illumine our hearts. Lord, give all gathered here to be the strength to be the change in the world that we hope and pray for. In other words, help all gathered here to be instruments of peace.”
The Interfaith Council delivered the vigil prayers and petitions.
Ray Green, brother of David Green, gave remarks on behalf of the Green family.
“First of all I would like to thank the Town of Winthrop, the Winthrop Commission On Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, Winthrop Police for providing security for this event, and all the groups and individuals that have made this possible so we can come together to honor the memory of David Green, my brother, and Ramona Cooper,” said Ray Green.
“Over the last couple of days, the world has been watching us, and I want them to realize what kind of brother that I had and what kind of town that he and I grew up in,” continued Green. “My brother graduated from Winthrop High and he went in to the military and came back to take care of my parents and she also became a state trooper because he wanted to help people.
“Anyone that who knew him, knew that he was unique individual. He could connect with anyone and when he talked to you, he talked with his heart. When he listened to you, he listened not only with his ears, but with his heart.
“He was an individual that would help anybody at any time without being asked,” said Green. “He was a very great man, You talk to any of his friends here in Winthrop and you’ll hear that.”
Green told the large gathering that he and his wife appreciated the great stories that Winthrop residents told him about their interactions with his brother through the years.
“I just want people to know that this [incident] does not taint the memory of my brother or taint the memory of this town,” said Green. “This is a great town. My brother and I grew up here and we loved it. My mother and father shaped our personalities and the men we became, but also our neighbors in this town, so we have nothing but good to say about the people of this town, and I want the world to know that. And I want the world to know that my brother loved people and people loved him and they’re showing it. And I want to say this loud and clear: To my brother, all lives matter.”
David Green’s neighbor, Bill Leach, told the assemblage, “I just want to tell you that Dave was my next-door neighbor and he was a wonderful, wonderful guy. You couldn’t meet a nicer guy. He loved everybody.”
John Bentley of the Commission on Inclusion and Diversity read a statement on behalf of the family of Ramona Cooper.
“I’m going to read a statement that was prepared by [Ms. Cooper’s] son [Gary Cooper Jr.]” said Bentley. “On behalf of the Cooper family, we would like to extend our thanks to the community of Winthrop and the surrounding areas. Trooper Green and my mother, Ramona, will be missed. My mother did not have an easy life. She was adopted and grew up in Connecticut and had a twin sister, Aunt Regina, who is here tonight.
“My mom enlisted in the Air Force and met my father. They married and I was born in 1989. I have fond memories of my mother as a child. She loved the beach and the water. She loved to take me to Domino’s and Blockbuster. I remember Christmas mornings and countless stray kittens that I would try to talk my mom into letting me keep. Finally, after buying four boxed turtles, she let me have my first kitten named Fluffy.
“My mom was a hard worker. She graduated college and she was a very educated woman. She was kind, funny, and quiet. My mother had a positive impact on all she met, with her big smile and contagious laugh. I will miss her and I’m so glad that I have so many voicemails on my phone which my mom started, ‘Hey, honey, it’s me, how’re you doing’. She always made sure you ended up telling me how much she loved me.”
Continued Bentley on behalf of the family, “The racial divide in America is not where it should be in 2021. My family and I can only hope for the sake of my mother and all victims of racially motivated crimes, that their deaths will not be in vain. We need to do better. To my mom, Ramona, I love you always and I can’t wait to see you again someday. You are truly missed.”
Phil Boncore delivered the closing remarks.
“We’re all here for the purpose of honoring David Green and Ramona Cooper,” said Boncore. “They were wonderful people who always tried to do good. They were really part of the part of the fabric of America and served in the Armed Forces protecting America and our liberty. Tonight we’re here in love and unity. Raise your candles and make sure that we stay forever in peace and love and unity as the Town of Winthrop. God bless you all.”