Published in the May 27, 2016 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The town has a long tradition of honoring those who have fought to defend our country and our freedoms. That tradition continues Monday.
At 9 a.m., the Wakefield Police Relief Association will host a memorial service at the Public Safety Building’s Community Room. A list will be read of past members of the local police department who have died.
At 10 a.m. at Moulton Park, the West Side Social Club will hosts its annual Memorial Day ceremony with featured speaker Commander Robert E. Vincent II.
Commander Robert E. Vincent II was born in East Boston and raised in Maryland. He received both his undergraduate (1982) and Juris Doctorate (1986) degrees from the University of Maryland.
CDR Vincent served on active duty in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s’ Corps from August 1986 until his retirement in September 2013. Highlights from his extensive military career include his appointment as a senior appellate judge on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals for four years and serving as the Military Justice Expert in the Judge Advocate General’s Inspector General Office. Additionally, CDR Vincent served as the first Command Judge Advocate onboard the USS Harrry S. Truman (CVN 75), as the Staff Judge Advocate, United States Naval Activities, United Kingdom and worked with the Department of State Office of International Claims and Investment Disputes, where he represented the United States before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
His highest personal awards include the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy Achievement Medals.
All Gold Star Families, veterans, friends and neighbors are invited to attend this service.
A light collation will be served in the WSSC Anderson Hall at the conclusion of the ceremonies.
In case of inclement weather, all activities will be held in the Anderson Hall.
Anyone who would like to “sponsor” a tree to help defray the costs of the dedication is asked to send a donation to the WSSC Memorial Day Fund at 4 Harrington Ct, Wakefield MA 01880.
The suggested donation amount is $40 per tree, but any donation is welcome and appreciated.
The West Side event dates back to the end of World War II. At the time, the club members planted young maple trees around the perimeter of the baseball field in memory of 18 young men, all from this small neighborhood, who made the Supreme Sacrifice in that conflict.
Every year since, on Memorial Day, the members of the club gather to rededicate those trees. In the years since, 11 more trees have been added to honor Wakefield’s deceased veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars – as well as for all deceased veterans of all wars. Floral bouquets will be tied around the 29 individual trees. A wreath will be placed at the “America’s Tree” in honor of the victims of 9/11 as well as one at the Memorial Boulder, remembering the Club’s deceased members.
At 1 p.m., the town will hold its Memorial Day observance on Veterans Memorial Common. John Carney, U.S. Army veteran and former selectman, will deliver the keynote address.
The ceremony will be go as follows:
• Posting of the Colors by the Wakefield Boy Scouts
• Pledge of Allegiance led by American Legion Commander Thomas Collins
• “National Anthem” performed by the Wakefield Wind Ensemble
• Greetings from the Board of Selectmen
• Reading of General Logan’s Orders – Director of Veteran Services Alicia M. Reddin
• Invocation – Reverend Dr. Bruce Taylor, Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield
• “America the Beautiful” performed by the Wakefield Wind Ensemble
• Keynote address
• “Armed Forces Medley” performed by the Wakefield Wind Ensemble
• Rose Petal Ceremony – Wakefield Girl Scouts
• Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood – George Livingstone, WWII Coast Guard
• The Blue And The Gray – Eleni Rizos, Junior at Wakefield High
• Moment of Silence
• American Legion Gun Salute
• TAPS performed by the Wakefield Wind Ensemble
• Benediction – Reverend Dr. Bruce Taylor, Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield
• Colors will be retired by the Wakefield Boy Scouts