Published in the December 20, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — Local officials have begun laying the groundwork for bringing a new war memorial to town.

The War Memorial Committee (WMC) appeared at last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting to present four different proposals for a new memorial. WMC Chairman Jason Kimball noted the committee was formed in February 2016, and was tasked with expanding the town’s War Memorial.

“We haven’t updated or added any names to the War Memorial since Desert Storm,” said Kimball. “There has been a war in Afghanistan for 16 years and there was a war in Iraq for eight. The idea is to celebrate all veterans, and we want a living and breathing memorial that is workable so that we can add names to it, and it has the ability to grow in the future.”

Kimball said the new memorial would not replace the existing War Memorial located on the Town Common.

“The existing War Memorial is part of our history,” said Kimball.

Kimball said the fiscal year 2018 budget included $10,000 for architectural plans in order to design a new war memorial.

“Once we have those plans, we can commence with the fundraising,” said Kimball.

WMC members Joseph Connell, Paul Donato and John Harrigan presented their respective plans to the selectmen. The selectmen voted unanimously to accept Connell’s plan.

Connell said in his report the new memorial “needs to be in the center of the town where all of the people of Lynnfield and its visitors can gather.”

“The main Common is too crowded and is used for too many other things that the town needs the space for,” said Connell. “My proposal is across the street from the main Common. The memorial needs to be a stand-alone monument and the location I propose suits that purpose. It cannot overpower the center of town, but compliment it. It has to blend with the natural character of the town.”

Connell said the war memorial would be accessible by all residents and there would be parking at the Town Hall parking lot.

“It will be a teaching memorial that tells the story of the town and the sacrifices the town’s people have endured,” said Connell. “It will be one memorial that will cover all the major wars that anyone from Lynnfield served in. It will tell a brief narrative of the history of each combat operation, a map of where it took place, and the names of all the men and women who served from this town.”

Connell said the proposed memorial “will have the ability to not only capture what has happened to date,” but could be expanded with “additional plaques.”

“Plaques will be made of brushed aluminum for cost, ability to engrave easily and appearance,” said Connell. “All services will have their service plaque represented. The stone walkway will be stones that families or groups can purchase to commemorate their loved ones that served. It will be lit at night with landscaping-style lights showing an eternal honor for those who have served. It will have an information board with details of the memorial as well as upcoming events.”

According to a rendering for the project, Connell’s proposed design would also include benches for people to sit on, an American flag, flagpole with lighting, and landscaping. The new war memorial would have a five-foot curved stonewall with service plaques honoring each branch of the military.

Connell said the memorial’s plaques will include a brief history about different wars, names of local veterans, and a series of three educational plaques for each conflict.


The selectmen were complimentary of the four different designs, but said they preferred Connell’s design to the other three proposals.

“I like the location because it’s near the Old Burying Ground,” said Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett. “A lot of the individuals who will be included on the memorial will be to the right of that, so I do like the location.”

Selectman Dick Dalton agreed with Connell’s viewpoint that the Town Common is “too crowded” and building the new memorial across the street would be ideal.

Selectman Phil Crawford also said he prefers building the new memorial across from the Town Common.

“It would be a nice addition to our Town Common,” said Crawford.

Crawford inquired if Connell’s design would include the names of people currently located on the existing War Memorial.

“This would start from the Revolutionary War and would go all the way through,” said Connell.

Town Administrator Jim Boudreau encouraged Connell to revisit the proposal involving constructing a walkway over the stream near Town Hall.

“That is going to significantly complicate this project and I would recommend that not be part of the design,” said Boudreau. “You are going to tie yourself up with Conservation forever.”

Boudreau also said the “Historical Commission is paternal” about the South Common and inquired if the WMC reached out to the commission.

Kimball said the WMC has not discussed the proposal with the Historical Commission. “Maybe a joint meeting with them would be the next step,” he said.