Council Committee: ‘Blue Ribbon’ Panel May Decide Vietnam Memorial Future

Linwood Cemetery during the 2018 Haverhill Memorial Day remembrance. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)

Linwood Cemetery during the 2018 Haverhill Memorial Day remembrance ceremony. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

A Haverhill City Council subcommittee decided Tuesday night to ask for the creation of a “blue ribbon commission” to find a new site for the city’s Vietnam War memorial and pay for an improved monument.

A leading contender is a park on Mill Street, near the entrance to Plug Pond, said City Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan, chairman of the Natural Resource and Public Property Committee.

“We are recommending the mayor set up a blue-ribbon commission—the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission—for the purpose of relocating the existing monument located at the Basiliere Bridge.”

Veterans Agent Michael Ingham explained the Plug Pond location is significant since it was a training ground for company A from Haverhill who served in Vietnam. The idea received backing from Vietnam veteran former City Councilor Louis T. Fossarelli, who approached councilors with his concerns three weeks ago. Other veterans in attendance included Ralph T. Basiliere, Gerard R. Boucher and Keith Gopsill.

Sullivan said the commission would also be charged with raising money for a permanent monument along with landscaping and benches and, if possible, a fountain? “It would be a lasting tribute to a generation of men and women who have yet to receive the thanks and praise of all Americans that they do rightfully deserve and have waited way too long to receive,” he added.

Besides Sullivan, Natural Resource and Public Property Committee members include Colin F. LePage and Joseph J. Bevilacqua. Councilor Melinda E. Barrett also attended.