Two events are on tap in Haverhill over the next few weeks to recognize and thank the city’s veterans for their service.
The first is a World War II Recognition Ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, July 24, at 10 a.m., in Washington Square. The other is a ceremony honoring Haverhill’s Purple Heart recipients, Saturday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m. Haverhill Veterans Service Director Luis Santiago, addressing the Haverhill City Council this week, said Haverhill’s 14 living World War II vets will be in attendance at the recognition ceremony.
“We have two confirmed veterans who are 99 and 95 years old who are brothers, who served in World War II era that will be attending the actual World War II ceremony,” he said.
City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said the second event is more than a one-day ceremony. “On Saturday, Aug. 7, at GAR Park at the shell, we’re going to do a Purple Heart Community ceremony where we are going to become, Haverhill will become a Purple Heart Community,” he noted.
Santiago added there are currently seven known Purple Heart recipients living in Haverhill. “At the current moment, we have seven individuals that we are looking to recognize for that day. There are several more that have actually passed. We will be laying a wreath on behalf of the City of Haverhill,” he said.
Of those seven, one is a member of the Haverhill Police Department and another is a member of the Haverhill Fire Department.
Additionally, Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 Vice Commander Keith Gopsill said he hopes the community at-large will get involved with the city’s Purple Heart recognition.
“We would like to decorate the city with Purple Heart signs, throughout the city, various locations, so that everyone that comes to Haverhill or lives in Haverhill knows that Haverhill supports our veterans,” he explained.
Santiago also announced that at the Purple Heart ceremony, he will have the honor of pinning a recently received Purple Heart to an as-yet unnamed Haverhill veteran.