History of Lilja

The (original) Lilja School was built in 1950. It was named in honor of two Natick brothers who gave their lives during World War II - First Sgt. Ralph Lilja (August 28, 1913 - June 15, 1944) and PFC. George Lilja (October 26, 1916 - September 19, 1944).

Lilja School was completely renovated in 1996. It reopened in August of 1997.

On August 13, 2011, as a result from resolutions from both the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives; the Natick Veterans Council hosted a ceremony to rededicate the school name to honor the four Lilja brothers who served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII.

Although not officially included in the name rededication, a fifth brother, Robert Lilja served in the USMC during the Korean Conflict.

Private First Class George Lilja was killed in the line of duty during the Battle of Peleliu Island and was awarded the Navy Cross for Valor, a Purple Heart, a Presidential Unit Citation, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal for his dedicated service to his country and the Commonwealth.

First Sergeant Ralph Lilja was killed in action in the Battle of Saipan and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the World War II Victory Medal for his dedicated service to his country and the Commonwealth.

Gunnery Sergeant Edwin Lilja was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation for his dedicated service to his country and the Commonwealth.

Private First Class Verner A. Lilja, Jr. was awarded The Purple Heart for his dedicated service to his country and the Commonwealth.

Lilja currently serves approximately 422 Kindergarten through Grade Four students.

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