Plans Take Shape for Dedication of Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Friday, Sept. 11

New monument dedicated to the 13 Haverhill veterans who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. (WHAV News photograph.)

Patriotic music, a veteran speaker, roll call of names and more highlight the formal dedication of Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Friday, Sept. 11.

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The socially-distanced, mask-wearing ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m., with a ceremony at 7 p.m., at Mill Brook Park, near the entrance to Plug Pond. The keynote address will be delivered by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen, chairperson of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

Construction of the new memorial park continued this year even as many other projects were halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Haverhill Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Commission Chairman Ralph T. Basiliere explained part of his motivation for carrying on.

“Frankly, I can’t bear to see another Vietnam veteran’s obituary without having this park available to them,” he said.

City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan—whose father, John Sullivan, served many years as Haverhill’s veterans services officer—serves as master of ceremonies. The planned program also includes a prayer led by Rev. Kenneth Young of the Calvary Baptist Church; reading of the names by Linda Gambino-Baxter, whose brother Michael was killed in the war; and songs sung by Neal Ferreira.

The new location, adopted last year at the urging of former City Councilor Louis Fossarelli, features brick-paved walkways to two circular areas—one with a new memorial, honoring the 13 who gave their lives during the war, and a seven-ton obelisk, saluting the service of all men and women who served in Vietnam. While the original “13” memorial was moved to the site from the park near Basiliere Bridge, it was retired recently because of previous damage. It was replaced with a new granite memorial, coming from the same Barre, Vt., quarry.

There are also educational stanchions made of granite that also came from the same quarry that supplied the original memorial.

Haverhill’s “13”

  • Ralph T. Basiliere
  • Willard R. Ryan
  • Arthur P. Williams
  • James N. Finn
  • Richard O. DeMaris
  • Robert P. Schena
  • William L. Bonnell
  • John C. Peel
  • Barry S. Kyle
  • Frederick Derocher
  • Michael J. Gambino
  • William Cahill
  • Gregory C. Davis

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