Emotional Baker nixes walking in St. Pat’s parade

'That word veteran, to me, it approaches holy,' he says

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER indicated on Wednesday that he will probably not march in the Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because OUTVETS, a group of gay veterans, is not being allowed to participate.

In responding to a reporter’s question, the governor became visibly emotional, saying he had spent time over the weekend with the families and friends of two service personnel who had died. “That word veteran, to me, it approaches holy,” he said.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

What follows is the governor’s full response to the question about whether he would march in the parade.

“My view on this is pretty simple, which is it’s a veterans parade. Veterans groups should be allowed to march in the parade. I had a kind of difficult week last week as governor because two young people on active duty serving in uniform, one in the Coast Guard and the other in the Army, died. I spent most of my weekend with their families and with their friends. That word veteran, to me, it approaches holy. And the idea that we would restrict the opportunity for men and women to put on that uniform, knowing full well they will be in harm’s way, and deny them the opportunity to march in a parade that is about celebrating veterans doesn’t make any sense to me. If veterans groups aren’t allowed to march in that parade for whatever reason, then I will probably find something else to do.”