Council Approves Honor for Lou Camacho

By Adam Swift

Ronald “Lou” Camacho, a longtime Winthrop resident and Vietnam veteran known to many in the town as “Mr. Fourth of July,” will be honored with a memorial sign plate at Atlantic and Hermon.

Tuesday night, the town council approved the recommendation for the memorial from the town’s memorial committee honoring Camacho, who died six years ago.

“Lou was quite a character and quite a fantastic guy, he did a lot for veterans,” said Council President Jim Letterie. “He did a lot for the fireworks on the Fourth of July, and also he ran the old soundsystem down the center, and just a great guy.”

Phil Ronan, the town’s veterans agent and chair of the memorials committee, made the proposal to honor Camacho.

“A lot of people know him from the fireworks for 30 or 40 years, the soundsystem,” said Ronan. “His close personal friends know that he is a war hero. Lou was in the Marine Corps in Vietnam; Lou was awarded the Bronze Star with a V for valor for combat for actions against the Viet Cong.

“In addition, he also was awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart with a star that signifies he was wounded more than once.”

Ronan said Camacho was a war hero who made significant contributions to the country and to the town of Winthrop.

“My proposal is to put it on the corner of Atlantic and Hermon,” he said. “That is directly across the street from his family’s home he grew up in and entered the military from.”

The memorial committee unanimously voted in favor of honoring Camacho.

Precinct 5 Councilor Joseph Aiello noted that Camacho was extremely humble about his service.

“He was just one of the most wonderful people in this town who welcomed me when we moved to town,” said Aiello.

Council Vice President Hannah Belcher thanked Ronan for his work in honoring Camacho and other veterans in the community.

Ronan noted that as the veterans agent, he’s had the ability to go through many town files and look at the significant contributions that a lot of people have made to the country.

“This is how I am able to dig some of it up, plus I get recommendations from family members, from citizens … and what we are trying to do as a group with the memorial committee is to make sure we honor everybody who needs to be honored,” said Ronan. “Not just veterans, but anybody who has made a significant, exemplary contribution, civic-wise also, all you have to do is bring it in front of our committee.”

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