Members of Veterans Council for the first time participated in the Annual Holiday/Santa Parade in Beverly this year. We had a 5 Ton Army truck all decorated, Members of the Beverly Veterans Council riding along in the back of the truck were Chuck Clark, Jerry Guilebbe, Cory Paulette Greg Leonard and Bill Prince of the Beverly Vietnam Veterans and VFW. Don O’Connor of the American Legion Post 46 Beverly Farms, and Ron Genest of the American legion Herman A Spear Post 331. It did rain a little and not exactly summer weather but a great time was had by all!!!!! A Special Thanks to Susan Moran, her Husband and Daughter Emma and her friend for there help with the float and coffee and Donuts!!!!!! A Special Thanks also to our driver !!!
Veterans Day 2018, was held on the 11th Month of the 11th Day of the 11th Hour. It also marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. The Veterans Day Program was opened by Veterans Agent David Perinchief, and at 11 am all the bells in the City of Beverly Churches rang out for Veterans Day. This was followed by Ron Innocenti ringing the bell for all our Veterans. At the conclusion of Veterans Day Program, Commander Chuck Clark of the Beverly Vietnam Veterans opened the program for the Dedication of the new Beverly Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The Commander thanked all who made the Memorial Possible and then Rep. Jerry Parisella placed a wreath at the new Memorial, followed by the reading of all the names of those who were killed in Action from Beverly and are now part of the New Memorial along with the Bronze Sculpture. A crowd of over 300 came out to be part of this historic day, and at the conclusion many took pictures of the new sculpture and the park.
On a cool and windy day November 11th, 2018 Veterans Day was observed and followed by the dedication of the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A Large crowd turned out for both ceremonies and the program was started with bag pipes playing as the crowd was making its way to the ceremony. On the 11th Month, 11 Day at the 11th Hour, all the bells in the city of Beverly Churches rang out in honor of this day.
David Perinchief presided over Veterans Day, after the bells the Pledge of Allegiance was said by all. A welcome to all groups in attendance followed by an invocation by Chaplain of the Herman A Spear Post District 8 Bob Laws and a moment of Silence. The Herman A. Spear Post 331 rifle guard fired a salute followed by taps which was performed by Phil and Donna Dennison. A wreath was placed to honor all those who were killed in action. The greetings were brought from Mayor Michael Cahill , followed by State Representative Jerry Parisella from the State House. Closing remarks by David Perinchief and then the program was then handed off to Commander Chuck Clark of the Beverly Vietnam Veterans for the dedication on the new Memorial. Chuck Clark thanks all were part of this 2 year project. The the reading of all the names of those Beverly Veterans who were killed in action from Beverly and who’s names will be forever at this Memorial. A wreath was then placed followed by the unveiling of the new sculpture at the Memorial, w
hen it was uncovered there was an applauded from all in attendance. The sculpture had everyone trying to get pictures and groups gathered to take group pictures for more than 20 minutes. This Bronze sculpture is the only bronze sculpture in the City of Beverly. The sculpture was designed by Jane DeDecker of Loveland Colorado, who was chosen from all the entries that came from all over the United State. Please come on out and take a look at this inspiring park located here in Beverly at Ellis Square.
A big thanks goes out to the Beverly High School, ROTC Program, Football Team, Band and Cheerleaders for providing a great day for local Veterans as we all entered the field and marched to midfield to participate in the Nation Anthem. It was a beautiful warm fall day and an honor to be part of the Beverly High School Football Game.
For a great way to join fellow veterans and their families and some spirited conversations and learn about the many programs and events available to Veterans and their families, set your alarm clock and come on down to the Vittori Rocci Coffee Group located at the Vittori Rocci post on Brimbal Ave in Beverly 8:30 to 10:00 am.
This has been a great success and thanks to Richard Cavanaugh, Ken Hebert and Tony Russo for all the work they have put into this event. There is coffee and a variety of pastries and donuts available all donated by dunking Donuts and Panera Bread. The coffee will remind you of your days in the service!!!! I think Richard is responsible for this.
So come on down it is a great way to meet new friends and renew old acquaintances!!
This past June 29th through July 2nd, the Members of the Beverly Vietnam Veterans would like to thank all who donated and supported our annual fundraiser for our programs. A special thanks to ll the Veterans who were out there during that heat to make this a big success!! If you are a Veteran and would like to join a great group, and you do not have to be a Vietnam Veterans, we would welcome you!!! Send us an e-mail !!!!!
Also Check out on this web site under HOW YOU CAN HELP, and you will be directed to our GO FUND ME PAGE, where you can help us with the new Beverly Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Ellis Square.
It was a cool but great day as the City of Beverly, local veterans remembered all our Veterans on this Memorial Day with a morning Parade in the Farms, and then again in the afternoon Parade at 2:00 PM. Again with the assistance of David Perinchief, the City’s Veterans agent, local Veterans Organizations, Scouts, ROTC, Elks and Citizens a day in which we remembered all those who gave their lives.
A big thanks goes out to all those who came forward to assist with the placing of flags on all our Veterans Graves, Veterans, Scouts, Beverly Hospital, Elks, ROTC, members of the community.
If you are a Veteran and have not joined one of our local Veterans Groups, please take a moment to look at what the city of Beverly has, to assist local Veterans. Beverly has the following Veterans Groups:
VFW Fortunato Post 545
American legion Post 331 and or Post 46
Amvets Post 56 Vittori Rocci
Beverly Vietnam Veterans
We also have a newly formed Beverly Veterans Council and see each month at City Hall, all are welcome to attend these open meetings. Please get involved, it goes a long way to help all who have served.
Please send us an e-mail and we can forward your request to join anyone of the groups.
NEXT YEARS DINNER DANCE IS ALL SET!!!! Keep May 4th Saturday open to join us for this years Scholarship Dinner Dance,Please come out and support our annual scholarship dinner dance!! Great food, music, and awards to local students.
When: Saturday, May 4th 2019 Where: Italian Community Center, 300 Rantoul Street, Beverly, MA 01915
6:00pm – Coctails & getting to know one another 7:00pm – Hot and cold buffet from casual catering 8:00pm – Scholarships and presentations
“Honoring” Tim & Maureen Smith for their years of service to both organizations
To have a brink placed at the Beverly Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Beverly Hospital, please see the attached form. Completed applications can be send to the address on the form or e-mailed to Jack McGuirk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on MEMORIAL BRINK FORM FOR INFORMATION and you can print all of the attached forms. The Memorial Brick form has the information that is required.
Veterans Day and the dedication of the new Beverly Vietnam Veterans Memorial will all take place on Veterans Day November 11th,we will start wth the Traditional Veterans Day Program as we honor all Veterans, it will be followed by the Dedication of the new park, which will have a bronze sculpture. This will be one of the most unique designs and the entire memorial will have bronze plaques installed on granite stones and 2 new 30 foot flag poles.
A big thanks goes out to so many, Beverly Vietnam Veterans, City of Beverly, Gin Wallace, Beverly Main Streets, our State Rep.Jerry Parisella, Montserrat College of Art, Denise Decamps, Sara Eldridge, Chelsea Sams, Catherine Barrett, Kevin Harutunian, Chuck Clark, Victor Capozzi, Jerry Guilebbe and Cory Paulette, and many more.
This project was been worked on for almost 2 years and involved 1000’s of hours of work, and the artist Jane DeDecker of Colorado was chosen to build the sculpture with will be unveiled on this Veterans Day.
A large contingent of veterans, along with their friends, family and other community members, gathered at Ellis Square last Friday to commemorate the re-opening of the reconstructed downtown space.
Chuck Clark, commander of the Beverly Veterans Committee, spoke briefly about the history of the location.
“As a kid growing up in Beverly, I remember this area quite a bit different than it is today,” he said. “There was no park here, no plaza here. Essex Street out here was a two-way street. And right over here where The Golden Hanger is, was Goodwin’s Store.”
He also recalled that the location was a main bus stop for all the communities of Beverly.
“It was a very, very busy place here,” he said.
Ellis Square was dedicated in 1921 and named for World War I veteran Henry Gordon Ellis, a member of the 101st Field Artillery Yankee Division and 51st Artillery Brigade who was killed in action Aug. 1, 1918.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to uncover any other information on him, but way back when, they knew him and that’s why it was dedicated,” Clark said.
The draft office was also housed above the store that is now The Golden Hanger, and it overlooked the square.
“If you were drafted, you were in for two years, usually in the Army, but occasionally in the Marine Corps.,” Clark said. “And you didn’t have much choice in there.”
In 1981, Beverly Mayor Peter Fortunato built a park within the square, naming it “Vietnam Memorial Plaza at One Ellis Square” and dedicated a Vietnam Memorial Plaque, which served as the original Vietnam veteran memorial marker.
“We were told by the city at that time that, later when money was available, we would get a better monument here,” Clark said. “Recently, Main Streets thought the park was underused, underutilized, which it was … They raised a lot of funds and they rebuilt this plaza, which is a beautiful area right now. The only thing that’s missing right now is a monument for our Vietnam veterans and our 11 fallen brothers that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Beverly veterans agent David Perinchief said he has been working with other city officials to make sure that missing piece is replaced.
“The city of Beverly has now announced a competition that’s being put on in the artistic community to come up with a plan and design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” he said. “It was going to be in this tiny little area in the corner, but, through persuasion and a lot of communication back and forth between the city and the veterans, they were influenced to allow our use of this whole area.”
Historical information about the space is one of the criteria that artists must incorporate into their design.
“That way, future generations when they come to this plaza, will be able to read about what it really means,” Perinchief said.
Sculpture design competition
The City of Beverly, Beverly Veterans Advisory Committee, Beverly Vietnam Veterans Inc. Post #1 Stephen H. Doane and Beverly Main Streets announced the opening of a design competition of a new distinct public art sculpture at the Vietnam Memorial Plaza at One Ellis Square. This call solicits artists to propose a unique design representing those who served in the United States Military and the significance of the specific location at Ellis Square.
The design should include the names of those Vietnam veterans who were killed in action, history of the site’s significance and historical information on the Vietnam War.
The memorial is the second phase of improvements to the plaza.
Earlier this year, work was completed on a $367,000 renovation to the plaza, funded through grants, private donations and the City of Beverly. The improvements included new brick, granite, concrete, landscape and light improvements, as well as new benches. The memorial will complete the improvements scheduled for the plaza.
Design competition packets outlining the project are available at Beverly City Hall in the Economic Development Department or can be found on the Economic Development Page on the city’s website at www.beverlyma.gov.
Deadline for submissions is Oct. 6, at noon. A committee will review those submissions, and a winner will be announced on Nov. 10.
The site of the future Vietnam Veterans memorial at Ellis Square is a place of significance for local veterans.
BEVERLY, MA – The newly made over Ellis Square holds special meaning for many veterans of the Vietnam War. Drafted men would sit on the benches that were there years ago, waiting for the bus to take them to Boston, possibly their last stop before war. The draft office previously overlooked the square from above.
The City of Beverly is seeking designs for a distinct public art sculpture at the Vietnam Memorial Plaza at One Ellis Square to provide a site of reflection and education for veterans and civilians alike. The design should include the names of the veterans kill in action during the Vietnam War, history of the site, and historic information on the war.
“They want to make sure the history’s captured around the memorial itself,” said Kevin Harutunian, the city’s chief of staff and member of the ad hoc committee overseeing the memorial, said of the veterans who have consulted on the project. “It’s a really special opportunity.”
“It’s incredibly important that we remember and honor those who served,” Harutunian said. “Vietnam veterans I’ve spoken with have articulated how special that space itself is.”
The $367,000 plaza renovation was completed earlier this year to turn Ellis Square into an urban park. Funding came from grants, private donations, and the city. The memorial is the final piece of the renovations, and Harutunian said they hope to announce the winner of the design competition the day before Veterans Day.
Our Annual Beverly Vietnam Veterans Fund raiser will take place June 28th through July 3rd throughout the City of Beverly. Our Veterans will be out at various stores asking for your donations to support our Local Scholarship Programs, Veterans Programs. All proceeds stay right here in Beverly to support local students and veterans. We will be handing out colorful Poppies!!! This past year we awarded over 5 thousand dollars in scholarships to local Beverly High School ROTC students and Veterans attending North Shore community College.
If you would like to make a donation please send us an e-mail.
Since November 2015, local veterans and their families have been gathering for weekly socials at the Vittori-Rocci Post on Brimbal Avenue in Beverly.
At the beginning, says program organizer Tony Russo, a Beverly native and U.S. Navy veteran, there was only a handful of participants. Now, 15 or more people show up each week to mingle with other veterans, to network, to learn about new opportunities, and most importantly to be part of a community. There is room for many more participants, Russo said.
Russo, who is a supervisory peer specialist with Bedford Veterans Affairs, stresses the importance of camaraderie to veterans. Veterans and their families who are in transition need a way “to integrate rather than isolate,” he said.
The unstructured format the socials offer, at a set time and place, provides the perfect environment for this integration to happen. The military is a unique culture and life outside that culture can be difficult for some, according to Russo.
“Bringing veterans together in a setting with other members of the community makes the entire community stronger,” he said. “We also have the added benefit of bringing multiple generations of veterans together.”
Beverly State Rep. Jerry Parisella frequents the Beverly socials, as well as others in the area. Currently there are similar gatherings in Bedford, Danvers, Gloucester, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lowell, Lynn, Somerville and Woburn.
“These events are so helpful to veterans who need and want to be a part of their communities,” said Parisella. “It is great that veterans have a place to gather, share stories, and gain and offer support.”
The space is donated by the Vittori-Rocci Post, with refreshments provided by Panera Bread in Beverly. All family members are welcome and membership at the Post is not required. There is no need for advance registration.
In addition to the socializing upcoming guest speakers include Dr. Tim Oman, who will speak about the new Gloucester outpatient clinic; licensed social worker Carly Wilson, who will speak about veterans and homelessness and the VA home caregiver program; and branch manager of Mortgage Network of Danvers, Rick Bettencourt, who will speak about VA home loans and credit counseling.
With a very large veteran community in Beverly and the surrounding area, Russo hopes to garner more participation at the weekly events, which take place Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
While Memorial Day remembrances throughout the North Shore honored those who died defending America, Peabody officials focused on 13 young men from the city who died during the Vietnam War.
The families of those 13 men were presented with the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty, which was established in 2009 to honor Massachusetts native who died in action, from wounds sustained during a conflict, or who died in the line of duty.
For Beverly residents, Memorial Day services included recognizing Cpl. Joseph Vittori, a Beverly native who died during the Korean War, manning a machine gun by himself and helping to save the men with him though he died.
The Medals of Liberty in Peabody were presented by Mayor Ted Bettencourt during an early afternoon ceremony in front of City Hall and war memorials on the front lawn.
Family members and those close to the 13 Vietnam servicemen received their medals posthumously. Several also spoke of the deceased, shedding light on who the men were other than names on a memorial.
“Dicky was 21 years old when he was killed,” said Martha Barrett of her brother Richard Bois. “He was married less than a year.”
Bois’ Army helicopter was shot down in 1969.
Growing up in Peabody, Barrett recalled how her brother loved working on his 1959 Chevy, and listening to his record collection, which she still has.
Judy McGuire received the medal for her cousin, Richard Cotter. She said her family continues to be proud of his service though it’s been nearly 50 years since his death.
“Over the years we continue to share his sense of humor – and did he have a sense of humor – his love of life and his pride of being a Marine,” she said.
State Rep. Ted Speliotis spoke of the city’s work in honoring its veterans, especially for Vietnam this year.
“It’s indicative of this city’s commitment to all of our veterans, but especially today to those who lost their lives during a very difficult time,” he said.
Remembering the meaning of Memorial Day in Beverly
State Rep. Jerry Parisella told Beverly residents that it’s important to remember what Memorial Day actually means.
“A poll was taken not too long ago and it was determined that a third of Americans don’t even know what Memorial Day is,” he said. “They confuse it with Veteran’s Day, or they think it’s just a day to go to the mall and save 25 percent on furniture or appliances.”
Parisella, a veteran himself, also spoke of how a teacher in Washington D.C. asked her students what Memorial Day is, and some said it’s the day when the pools open.
Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day, he said. Created after the Civil War, it was a day to visit and decorate the graves of those who died during the war.
In Massachusetts alone, 37,000 residents have died during in combat since the Revolutionary War.
However, Parisella noted that statistics show over 20 veterans die from suicide per day – more than those who die in combat.
During his speech, Mayor Mike Cahill recognized Thomas Zayas – Zayas served with Vittori in Korea and was there when Vittori gave his life. Zayas was brought to Beverly as part of a documentary being done on Vittori.
“He saved many lives that night,” Cahill said of Vittori.
Beverly also honored its oldest living veteran – Hardy Prince, 98, served in World War II flying planes over the South China Sea for the Navy.
BEVERLY — When Hardy Prince enlisted in the Navy at age 22, he told officials he wanted to fly. That was 75 years ago, in the middle of World War II.
Prince, now 98, is Beverly’s oldest living veteran, according to city records. He and a handful of other World War II veterans are being honored by the city during Monday’s Memorial Day remembrances.
Prince, who was born and raised in Wenham, isn’t the only Beverly World War II veteran with a flying background. Bill Mahoney, 90, Beverly Regional Airport’s commission chair, also worked on planes during the war.
Sitting in a comfortable armchair in his home near Lynch Park, Prince holds up a model of the plane he co-piloted during the war — a Martin PBM Mariner. As part of a 13-member crew, he would fly off the coast of one of the Philippine islands where they were based in 1944 through early 1945, searching for Japanese submarines in the South China Sea.
The plane, which had floats to land on the ocean with but no insulation, was equipped with eight .50-caliber guns. The crew would go out on eight-hour patrols, Prince said, though 14-hour shifts were not uncommon.
“It was a little loud, but you kind of got used to it,” he said of the plane.
Two of the guns were in the front, two on the top in the middle, and two in the tail, Prince explains, pointing it out on his model. There were also two more guns in the middle, one on each side.
“The reason we had to do this was to hold down the submarines,” Prince said. The submarines could stay submerged for only so long — eventually they would need to surface to recharge their batteries.
Prince said there was a kitchen, complete with a stove, sink and table beneath where the pilot sat.
“Unfortunately we never had a good cook and it was barely palatable,” he said.
Prince recalled the extensive training he went through to be able to get behind the patrol bomber’s controls. He was helped by the flight experience he had both at the Beverly Regional Airport and a flight club in Lowell.
After some book learning and physical training following his enlistment in 1942, he was sent to Naval Air Station Glenview in Illinois. There, he flew one of the bright-yellow biplanes used for training. The cockpit was open; Prince was required to wear a helmet and goggles.
“One time, they said ‘OK, you’re going to try to do some night flying,’ and I thought it was going to be kind of difficult, but it wasn’t,” he said. “I flew out over the lakes, the moonlight was shining on the lower wing. It was just a beautiful time.”
The biplane training lasted for 18 months, Prince said. He was then sent down to North Carolina. He called his girlfriend, Priscilla, and asked her to come down and marry him. She took a train; they were married the day after her arrival and lived together on base.
It was soon afterward that Prince was sent to the Philippines. Though he said he never saw a Japanese submarine while on patrol, his crew’s plane crashed into the ocean once.
They were flying low, he said, when suddenly the plane flipped over. Two of his crew members were killed, including his copilot, Prince said. He escaped with a burn on his arm.
The Philippines were hot, he recalled. Prince said he and the other men would sometimes quickly cool off in the shower and rush back to bed, hoping to fall asleep before becoming hot again.
Prince was soon sent home to the states after the crash, he said. He was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. There, his wife joined him again on base.
“We had a grand old time,” he said.
Prince was nearly made a patrol commander, but it didn’t happen.
“Suddenly the war was over and we had to go home,” he said.
Prince turned to aviation again upon arriving home. He worked at Beverly Regional Airport as a mechanic. But with a growing family, he moved onto Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent his career as a welder.
Mahoney’s track through the war was different — he was also considerably younger than Prince, enlisting in 1944 at the age of 17.
“You went out of high school,” he recalled. A Dorchester native, Mahoney joined many other young men doing the same thing. “There was a tremendous amount from the Boston area.”
Mahoney was made an aircraft mechanic, he said, and later became a crew chief with the Marines; he served for two and a half years.
“At that time when you signed up, you signed up for the duration and six months,” he said. “The war got over in 1945, and I got out in August of 1946.”
Mahoney spent seven months in occupied Japan, he said, at an air station outside Tokyo. Since the war was over, they had to fly the station’s 14 planes back to the States.
Japan to the West Coast was a long trip for planes at the time — Mahoney and crew were responsible for a Curtiss C-46 Commando, a transport plane. To get the plane across the ocean, it had to fly with extra fuel tanks inside.
“The biggest thing was going from Honolulu to the West Coast,” he said.
Mahoney, like Prince, also continued in the aviation business, though he went on to the engineering side.
He worked for General Electric after he got out, he said. Jet engines changed everything.
“When I went to GE in 1948, they were starting the first jet engine production,” Mahoney said. “I really saw the difference going with GE, it was the jet-engine age.”
Remembering Beverly’s oldest veterans is important, according to David Perinchief, the city’s veterans agent, and Jerry Guilebbe, president of the Beverly Veterans Council.
“The oldest guys are the ones, they remember the ones who are gone,” Perinchief said. “The oldest guy remembers most of them. He’s the one carrying that generation’s memories.”