ONE of the images repaired and refurbished for the Galvin Middle School veterans memorial is known at this point as only Lt. Cartwright. These photos show the deteriorated state of the photograph before it was refurbished.
WAKEFIELD — The new Galvin Middle School has recently opened with a great deal of well-deserved fanfare. From all accounts, it is a first-class facility, which will benefit the children and community of Wakefield for generations.
Another component of the Galvin Middle School project that is nearing completion is the creation of a fitting memorial to those Wakefield Veterans who have lost their lives in service to our country. Those who have attended events in the old Galvin auditorium may recall that the walls were lined with photos and images of the fallen. These photos and images are of Wakefield’s veterans from World War I (possibly one veteran of the Spanish-American War) through Operation Iraqi Freedom. The display was less than ideal, given the height of the images and many were unrecognizable. Most of these images have been damaged over the years, as the result of environmental conditions and neglect.
A project was initiated, in conjunction with construction of the new middle school, to create a more formal and appropriate memorial to those Wakefield veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. All of the old photos and images were removed from their original positions in the old Galvin and were stored at the Wakefield Town Hall while the initial phase of the project plan was formalized. Wakefield Boy Scout Troop 701 and their adult volunteers were instrumental in the removal and packaging of the images from the old Galvin. The Boy Scouts Troop 701 contingent included Pete Crump, Mike Williams, Dan Wensley, Neil Smith, Jimmy Crump, Nick Major, Josh Polischuk, Ricky McNamara, John Marando, Sam Bianchet-David, Joe Bernabeo, Mike Constas and Jack Bengtson. Adult volunteers were TJ White, Jeff Crump, Jim Major, Dana Bernabeo and John Bengtson.
All of the images are in the process of being repaired and refurbished as required. These before and after images are of one of our World War I Veterans, known to us at this point as only “Lt. Cartwright.”
“Since many of these veterans are unknown to most of us, we envision that there may be additional phases in this project that will help the community at large learn more about these veterans,” said Jay Pinette, member of the Wakefield Veterans Affairs Board.
“We already know many of these veteran’s names. They are featured on some of our streets, schools and playgrounds.”
“Ultimately, it would be nice if there was a database that would fill in the information gaps – provide a durable ‘story behind the story’ for each of these Veterans,” he continued. “There is one World War I Veteran, Herbert Edgar Biggs, for whom no picture exists.”
At the risk of forgetting someone, Pinette offered thanks to the people who have helped to move this project forward: Town Administrator Steve Mayo, Selectman Phyllis Hull, Veterans’ Service Officers Ryan McLane and Andrew Biggio and the Wakefield Veterans Advisory Board, Chris Pierce and his Wakefield Department of Public Works crew, Christopher Blessen of Tappe Associates, Al Pereira at Advanced Photo, Mark Papas and the Bond Construction crew and Chaplain John Bohling of Wakefield American Legion.
“We look forward to completing the first phase of the Galvin Veterans Project,” said Pinette. “Should you have any questions or additional information on any of the Veterans included in this memorial, please feel free to contact me. We will also keep you informed of any future developments as we create a more complete history for Wakefield’s finest.”