Published May 22, 2019

WAKEFIELD — The West Side Social Club (WSSC) will hold its annual Memorial Day Program on Monday, May 27. The program will commence at Moulton Field on Harrington Court at 10 a.m.

This event dates back to the end of World War II. At the time, 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.

On every Memorial Day since then, the members of the Club gather to rededicate those trees. In the years that have followed, 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. On Memorial Day, 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.

We are pleased to announce that our featured speaker this year will be Sam Stella. Sam is a disabled veteran who has served the Wakefield community in many ways including as a member of the police department, the Board of Health and as a realtor.

In July of 1967, Sam joined the U.S. Army. He spent two years in Hawaii and Okinawa. His primary occupation was finance and accounting, but he also volunteered and assisted with severely wounded casualties who were medevac’d directly from Vietnam. Sam returned to Ft. Myers, Virginia in February 1970 and was honorably discharged in July 1970.

Sam is a lifelong member and past commander of the local American Legion, Post #63. He is also an incoming officer and life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Post #738 and a life member of the Disabled Veterans of America.

All Gold Star and Blue Star families, veterans, friends and neighbors are invited to attend this Memorial Day 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 $30 per tree, but any donation is welcome and appreciated.