The Boston Police Department Remembers Service and Sacrifice of BPD Detective George J. Holmes Killed in the Line Duty 55 Years Ago: The men and women of the Boston Police Department remember the service and sacrifice of Detective George J. Holmes who was killed in the line of duty on November 6, 1963. On that day 55 years ago, Detective Holmes was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend two armed felons who had just robbed a jewelry store in the area of Downtown Crossing. One of the suspects, 21-year-old Robert Ramoska, was caught moments after the crime while the second suspect and the individual believed to have been the shooter, 21-year-old Nicholas R. Yasaian, was found deceased five days later in a Somerville rail yard with the cause of death ruled an overdose.
Holmes, a 14-year veteran of the department, was 41-years-old at the time of his death. Making his death ever more heartbreaking was the fact that he was survived by his wife and four children.
In the days following his death, Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody said of Detective Holmes, “In the long and valorous roster of Boston Police Officers, Detective Holmes earned a distinguished place of honor.” Additionally, Boston Police Commissioner Edmund L. McNamara mourned the loss of his fallen officer, “It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that it becomes my sad duty to officially record the death of a dedicated and devoted police officer. In the highest traditions of police service, he has now given up his life in the service of his community. I wish to extend my personal expression of sorrow and the sincere condolences of all the members of the Boston Police Department to his wife and family at this time of their great loss. It is not alone, our less.”
Detective Holmes is buried at the Mount Benedict Cemetery in West Roxbury and his name which was added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial can be found at: Panel 50, West Line 4.
In Boston, a Hero Sign (see photo) is posted in his memory at the intersection of Washington and Winter Streets marking the place where Detective Holmes lost his life protecting and serving the people of Boston. Should you find yourself in that area, please keep an eye out for Detective Holmes’ Hero Sign. And, should time allow, please take a moment to say a prayer thanking and acknowledging a brave man for his service and sacrifice to a grateful city while also acknowledging the hurt, heartache and pain felt by a family forced to come to grips with the loss of a husband, father and friend.