Veterans Day ceremonies return to Veterans Memorial Park next Thursday, Nov. 11, and will feature permanent recognition of military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The program begins at noon.
A year ago, because of concern about the spread of Covid-19, the occasion was marked with a virtual ceremony.
The centerpiece of Veterans Memorial Park, at 160 The Great Road across from the Bedford Marketplace, is the flagpole and marble monument saluting the scores of residents who served in World War II. Indeed, the names of all World War II veterans are inscribed on the four sides.
But there are also smaller markers commemorating various post-war military campaigns, and a stone acknowledging the most recent veterans will now join them. Former Selectman Joseph Piantedosi, vice-chair of the Patriotic Holiday Committee, will preside at the unveiling.
One of the more popular elements of Bedford’s Veterans Day is the opportunity for anyone to publicly acknowledge a veteran, living or deceased, along with their branch of service, and place a small flag in wreaths of honor.
Speakers at the main program will be State Rep. Kenneth Gordon, Select Board Chair Margot Fleischman, and the commanders of the two local veterans organizations, Rob Bowes, American Legion Post 221, and the Rev. Al Chisholm, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1628.
Firefighters and police officers comprising the public safety honor guard will lead the short parade from the patriot statue along the walkways to the monument area, joined by Bedford Minutemen, Scouts, and a marching unit from the Bedford High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
The speakers and other dignitaries, including State Sen. Michael Barrett, representatives of Hanscom Air Force Base, and the Patriotic Holiday Committee, also will walk.
Also speaking will be Paul Purchia, chair of the Patriotic Holiday Committee, and John Cooper, chaplain of the two veterans clubs. Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the Bedford High School Marching Band will play God Bless America and The Star-Spangled Banner. There will be memorial volleys and the playing of “Taps” to conclude.
Should it rain, the ceremonies will take place in Buckley Auditorium, Bedford High School. The stone unveiling will be rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763