New Veterans Memorial dedicated
Logan Murphy, Veritas Staff
After construction of the new middle school and the renovation of the high school, construction in Rockland seems to be inevitable. The Rockland Veterans Memorial is the latest project and was dedicated on Sept. 27. Like the construction of the schools, this project is one that many believe was sorely needed.
In charge of the project was Rockland’s veteran’s agent Anton Materna. When asked about creating the project, Materna said, “The project to do this began about five years ago, when veterans came to my office and inquired as to how can one see those names on the [plaques on the]stadium wall?”
The use of granite stone and aluminium in the 10 new plaques results in a far more reliable and lasting memorial. Bronze and copper used in the old memorial is known to fade and tarnish, thus becoming illegible. As to whether or not the previous memorial inside the stadium would be removed, Materna said, “The bronze plaques that are on the stadium wall will remain there.”
The new memorial contains the names of almost 3,000 Rockland residents. Names on the new memorial include any veteran who was a Rockland resident upon entry into the military and served 180+ active duty days from the Spanish-American War leading up to the current War on Global Terrorism.
Sunday’s dedication attracted many veterans, their families and several public officials.
Guest speakers included U.S. Congressman William Keating, State Senator John Keenan, State Representative David DeCoste, and many others. Scott MacKinlay of the memorial committee served as master of ceremonies.
The day’s weather averaged 74 degrees which was perfect for the parade that preceded the dedication.
The parade included military vehicles from the National Guard and Massachusetts Air National Guard. A black hawk helicopter landed in the field at Memorial Stadium and a World War II era plane also conducted a fly-over.
The Rockland Eagles, the Rockland Lions Club, the Rockland High School band and many other organizations and clubs participated in the parade.