LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield War Memorial Committee met on Tuesday to discuss costs, construction plans, and data collection for the new war memorial which will be located off South Common Street.
The committee is in the works of creating a memorial, a project which Committee Chair Joe Connell said has been five years in the making, that acknowledges every Lynnfield veteran. This will include veterans who fought in the Revolutionary War to veterans serving through and including every war engaged in by the U.S. — something the North Shore has never seen before, according to Connell.
“No other town has captured every single war. None,” Connell said. “This will be the first time we have a memorial from start to finish, from the Revolutionary War to now.”
In the state legislature’s FY2023 budget, officials allocated $50,000 to help defray the costs associated with the construction of the memorial, the second year in a row the memorial has received a grant of that size.
Connell said the latest funds will be used to purchase the granite panels.
“They are side by side panels giving a description of the war, and next to it, will be a map of where the war/conflict took place,” Connell said. “Just below that, will be the names of the citizens from Lynnfield who fought in those wars.”
Connell said the best bid for the panels and benches is approximately $68,000.
“Between the $50,000 grant, and money we have as a committee, we will make this purchase, as soon as the state gives us the grant,” Connell said. “This is a major portion of the project.”
The majority of Tuesday evening’s discussion surrounded the panels that will be included in the monument, specifically the granite they will be made of.
The monument will be decorated with a set of plaques for every war fought by Lynnfield citizens. Empty spaces will be left in the monument to include those who will serve in future wars. The granite pavers will also be available for purchase to honor a veteran with an engraving. At the meeting, the committee looked at blueprints of the monument with Architect Ron Ranere.
Additionally, the committee discussed the various ways in which they are gathering the names of Lynnfield veterans.
Lynnfield Boy Scout Matthew Squadrito, 15, said he is using library resources as well as online state archives to compose a list of names for the memorial.
“I would estimate we have about 806 names so far.” Squadrito said.
Veteran’s Agent, Bruce Siegel, noted that “there’s going to be a lot of flexibility.”
“If you’re honorably discharged with proof of being a veteran, you’re eligible,” to be included in the monument, he said.
The committee also discussed establishing a Venmo account to accept donations for the project.
Connell also added that he envisions this monument being an “educational piece” for people to be able to visit, especially on important military dates in history, which are commemorated on days such as Memorial Day.
A decorated military veteran, Connell served in the U.S. Army for 30 years before his retirement in 2014. He retired as the senior advisor to the Massachusetts National Guard
Dorothy Irrera can be reached at [email protected].