FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2018
Contact: Kevin Harutunian
BEVERLY – The City of Beverly was recently awarded a grant from the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB). The $15,000 grant was awarded to help design, construct and install a memorial that will honor veterans who served in the Vietnam War. The new Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be prominently located at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza at One Ellis Square.
In 2017 the City of Beverly initiated a design competition to determine a concept for the memorial. This month, an Invitation For Bids was issued and distinguished artist Jane DeDecker of Loveland, Colorado was awarded the memorial project. Ms. DeDecker has created and placed over 175 life and monumental sized public sculptures in over thirty-three states. The unique Beverly design will incorporate a life size sculpture cast in bronze of an 18 year old young man waiting at Ellis Square for the bus prior to departing for the war. Additionally, there will be several bronze and granite markers at the memorial that convey the history and details of the Vietnam War, the historical significance of the One Ellis Square location and will include the names of the eleven Vietnam Veterans from Beverly who were killed in action (full name, branch of service and date of loss).
Adjacent to Ellis Square, 4 Essex Street housed the Draft Board during the Vietnam War and across the street where the current Vietnam Memorial Plaza resides were park benches that many Beverly draftees sat on awaiting buses to the Federal Building in Boston where they started their military service. Many of Beverly’s Vietnam veterans remember departing for the war with friends who would never return home. Understandably, Beverly’s Vietnam veterans have a strong connection to this location and would like to see the importance of it and their experiences preserved and honored. Also, the goal is to educate the community and younger generations about one of the most divisive wars in U.S. history. The Memorial will be dedicated to honor the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of all Beverly residents who answered the call to serve in the Vietnam War.
Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill commented “We thank the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board for this grant funding to support the construction of the memorial to honor our brave Vietnam Veterans. It’s important to recognize, remember and honor the sacrifices our nation’s heroes made to serve our country to protect, defend and preserve our freedom.”
The City of Beverly, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly Main Streets, the Veterans Advisory Commission and other community veterans groups are currently raising funds for the $60,000 needed to construct this memorial.
To make an online donation to support the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project, please visit the Beverly Vietnam Veterans “Replace our Vietnam Memorial” Go Fund Me page at: www.gofundme.com/bvvmemorial-at-1-ellis-square
For information about artist Jane DeDecker, please visit: www.janededecker.com
For additional information about the Beverly Vietnam Veterans, please go to: www.bvvinc.org or contact Mr. Cory Paulette at 978-304-3116. Please send mailed donations to: Beverly Vietnam Veterans P.O. Box 661 Beverly, MA 01915.