On June 14, at the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Bernon Family Branch in Franklin, there will be a special flag dedication ceremony to honor the memory of Lance Corporal Shayne Cabino of the United States Marine Corps and a lifelong Franklin resident. The ceremony, which will be held on National Flag Day, will feature the unveiling of a memorial on the Y’s camp grounds in his honor. At age 19, Shayne lost his life serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005.
After Shayne was killed and his family was planning his funeral services, his mother Jodi Cabino Cipriano, had a wish to honor her son in a special way. “I was driving in Bellingham one day and saw a wood carved eagle in front of a business,” recalls Jodi. “I inquired about it and was given Jesse Green’s information.” Realizing that the loss of Shayne had come to a seven-year mark, his mother Jodi Cabino Cipriano, knew that it was time to have something at the cemetery representing her son besides his plaque. Recognizing that still she was unable to finalize his death in her heart, Jodi decided to have something on a temporary basis placed there as she wrestles with the loss of her son. “I was driving through Bellingham one day and I saw this carved eagle in front of someone’s house, “ recalls Jodi. “ I pulled in the driveway and asked if anyone knew who made the eagle. I was given Jesse Green’s information.” Jesse Green, often referred to as ‘The Machine’ is a master chainsaw sculptor and is the star of the National Geographic Channel’s hit show American Chainsaw. Green is also a Medway resident.
|Lance Corporal Shayne Cabino|
Jodi Cabino Cipriano wrote to Green, asking him if he would make a battlefield cross to memorialize her son. Cabino Cipriano and Green began corresponding via email right before July 4, 2012. In an email one day, Jodi shared with Jesse her son’s story. “I felt Jesse had every right to know who my boy was, especially because he was honoring him in this special way,” said Jodi humbly and describes Jesse as a man who is kind to the core.
Jodi was unable to place the cross where Shayne is buried due to regulations. Board member of Mount Hope Cemetery Steve Clapp, also a Hockomock Area YMCA Board of Director called Jodi. She recalls, “Steve said that he knew the perfect place for Shayne’s battlefield cross. He said Hockomock Area YMCA President Ed Hurley would be honored to do a memorial for Shayne, and if I was willing, incorporate the battlefield cross in it,” states Cabino Cipriano. Seeing as her entire family had ties to the Bernon Family Branch of the Hockomock Area YMCA, it was a good fit, and she agreed.
Jesse recalls, “I have a deep admiration for our troops and I just thought; here's a mom who's young son has made the ultimate sacrifice so that my family and I can live on and continue to enjoy the American Dream,” adds Jesse proudly. “I ended up pushing aside my wait list and spent that July 4th carving Shayne's battlefield cross. It was a powerful experience,” says Green.
Green and Cabino Cipriano will meet for the first time at the unveiling of the battlefield cross – a gift from Jesse to Jodi and her family. “This moment is very important to me,” Jodi says in anticipation of the unveiling. The dedication will feature a military ceremony, a flag presentation to the Cabino Cipriano family, a pledge of allegiance, and a memorial dedication to Lance Corporal Shayne Cabino. Jesse Green will personally unveil the battlefield cross memorial. “Creating anyone’s memorial sculpture is a really meaningful thing and I've done many,” says Green. “This one was something even greater than that. Shayne deserves every honor there is. It’s a token of gratitude to him and all like him,” says Jesse.
The origins of the battlefield cross date back to the American Civil War when fallen soldiers were buried where they lay, placing the soldier’s rifle with bayonet fixed into the ground and his helmet on top to indicate the remains of an American serviceman. Over time, this image was associated with military loss. During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the battlefield cross began to attract popular attention, with numerous units erecting battle crosses to commemorate their comrades. Since they could not attend the funerals of their fellow soldiers, some units made a habit of paying tribute at the battlefield cross. The battlefield cross is a visible reminder of the fallen soldier.
Shayne Cabino’s memorial will be placed at the Y’s camp grounds. Beginning June 17, Bernon Family Branch Summer Camp will commence and every camper will come to the memorial, which includes a flag and flagpole, to say the Pledge of Allegiance and learn about sacrifice and dedication through Shayne’s story. “Children will learn what a battlefield cross is and learn about freedom and honor. They’ll learn all of this on the same field my Shayne and his siblings played and had fun on,” recalls Jodi fondly.
Lance Corporal Shayne Cabino grew up “on the hill” of Forge Hill Road where the Bernon Family Branch is located in Franklin. Shayne’s mother, a resident of Franklin for the past 33 years, recalls her children’s experiences at the Y. “My kids took part in the day programs as toddlers and the afterschool care program and summer camp as youngsters. Before we were married, my husband Tony Cipriano and I worked at the construction company that helped build the Bernon Family Branch. When I asked my boys, Justin, Billy, Zachary, and my daughter Brandi what they remember about growing up at the Y, they shared going on nature walks, doing arts & crafts, and having fun playing kickball, tetherball, four square, capture the flag, and swimming in the first pool built there. Their favorite was manhunt which they brought into the community and played almost every night,” says Jodi. Shayne was part of the Hockomock Area YMCA family and the Y is proud to honor his memory at this dedication and in the years to come.
The ceremony will be held outdoors on Friday, June 14, 2013 from 9:30am – 10:30am at the Hockomock Area YMCA Bernon Family Branch located at 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin, MA. All in the community