NORWOOD, MA – As part of Norwood’s 150th anniversary celebration, the town has created a week-long series of events to honor its veterans
The Norwood Veterans Tribute will begin Sunday, May 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at four locations. Memorabilia loaned by Norwood veterans will be on display at the Norwood Senior Center, located at 275 Prospect St., as well as at City Hall’s Memorial Hall at 566 Washington St. Greeters at Memorial Hall will also tell visitors the story of Memorial Hall and honor Norwood’s veterans of the First World War.
Storyboards depicting the experiences of Norwood veterans, some of which were designed and researched by Coakley Middle School students, will be on display at the Senior Center and the Norwood Civic Center at 165 Nahatan St. The Civic Center will also offer information about veterans benefits and America’s VetDogs, an organization to help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence. A shuttle will run between the Seniors Center and the Commun de la Ville.
Meanwhile, World War I, Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactments will be offered on the Town Common by the Colonial Boys.
Free tickets will be distributed and volunteers will validate the presence at each of the four locations, organizing a draw for people who will go to the four stops. For more information, contact Anne Haley at email@example.com.
The tribute moves to Norwood High School at 3 p.m., where the Parkway Concert Orchestra will offer a celebration of Norwood through music. Along with famous and familiar scores from Sergei Rachmaninoff, Edward Elgar, Georges Bizet and Aaron Copland, the event will salute veterans with a special performance of Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea.” All spectators must wear a mask while in the building.
Based in Norwood, the Parkway Concert Orchestra was founded by West Roxbury music teacher Ferdinand Fassnacht in 1945 and continues to this day under the direction of Thomas G. Kociela, who is also Music Director of the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra. Orchestra members reside in Norwood and surrounding communities and range in age from teens to 80 years old. For more information, visit the orchestra’s website at www.ParkwayConcertOrchestra.org.
This concert is sponsored by the Norwood 150 Committee and is supported in part by a grant from the Norwood Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
On Saturday, May 28 at 8 a.m., flags will be placed at the graves of veterans at Highland Cemetery at 320 Winter St. At 3 p.m., the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be dedicated at the corner of East Hoyle and Washington Streets. The black granite bench will bear the names of the nine Norwood men who died in the war. The keynote speaker at the inauguration will be retired Navy Captain Thomas G. Kelley of South Boston, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, activities will begin with a memorial service at St. Catherine of Siena Church at 549 Washington Street at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., the American flag on the Town Common will be hoisted and flown at half-staff. Ceremonies will then take place at 9:30 a.m. at Old Parish Cemetery near 480 Washington St.
Memorial Day parade participants will then gather across the street at the corner of Washington and Howard streets, and the parade will leave at 10 a.m.
The parade will feature Police and Fire Honor Guards, Norwood Veterans, Norwood High School Marching Band, Colonial Boys Fife and Drum and Colonial Pipers Bagpipe Band. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies will also participate.
The parade will end at Highland Cemetery, where the final ceremonies of the day’s event will take place at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Norwood Veterans Services Director Ted Mulvehill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s tributes focus on those who have served relatively recently. Norwood also has many signs, plaques, statues, and other artifacts that honor Norwood veterans of all eras and are available year-round. They are sketched on this site.
Prepared by George Curtis, currently Vice President of the Norwood Historical Society, this page brings together relevant information about Norwood’s veterans and the city’s ongoing efforts to commemorate their contributions. The work collected on this webpage continues the earlier research of renowned local historian and philanthropist Fred Holland Day, who prepared the list of veterans from colonial times through World War I that he still prominently displayed on Town Hall plaques.
The Norwood Historical Society’s online archive includes a number of relevant stories and can be viewed at https://norwoodhistoricalsociety.org/category/military.