Haverhill Vietnam Memorial Will Be at New Site Near Plug Pond by Veterans Day

The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Ad Hoc Commission Wednesday named Mill Brook Park as the new home for Haverhill’s memorial.

Plans to relocate the Haverhill Vietnam Memorial are moving at lightning speed with the committee declaring the memorial will be at its new home in time for this Veterans Day.

Members of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Ad Hoc Commission decided at its first meeting Wednesday that the new monument location is Mill Brook Park, near the entrance to Plug Pond. The monument is now near the Basiliere (BAZZ-ILL-EAR) Bridge, downtown. There’s much to follow, as Chairman Ralph T. Basiliere tells WHAV

“We set a deadline for Nov. 1 of 2019 to have a new monument, which will complement the existing one, but be grander,” he said.

Basiliere, named for his uncle—Haverhill’s first Vietnam War casualty—opened the meeting by declaring the new monument “properly commemorate the 13 lost and countless Haverhill sons who served in Vietnam.” He told WHAV, while it’s too early to be certain, the Commission is leaning toward a specific idea for the final memorial.

“Where water is a constant theme here in Haverhill—the site is close to the river and the ponds, the lakes and the constant theme in Vietnam—that we’d like to do something that incorporates water into the landscape and into whatever monuments we choose,” Basiliere said.

Mill Brook Park, a name almost forgotten by most, was created in 1935, Basiliere explained. The site will be further evaluated by commissioners, Conservation Agent Robert E. Moore Jr. and City Engineer John H. Pettis III.

John “Jay” Davidowicz is donating the excavator and labor to move the existing memorial.

As WHAV reported in late July, the idea of a new site was first presented to city councilors by Vietnam veteran and former City Councilor Louis T. Fossarelli. City Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan was among the first to suggest the monument be moved closer to the city’s scenic areas.