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Veterans memorial wall to be updated
Weymouth News - 9/13/2017
A World War I veteran's name will be added to the Ralph Talbot Amphitheater Memorial Wall that is undergoing an $800,000 makeover, according to George Pontes, director of Weymouth Veterans Services.
Pontes said the veterans' services office is finalizing a list of eligible Weymouth veterans to be listed on bronze plaques on the memorial wall and residents have until Sept. 15 to submit the name of a service member for eligibility consideration.
"Unfortunately there has to be a cutoff date in order for us to provide the most recent update to the wall, he said. "That would be Friday the 15 th ."
The veterans wall built in 1930 lists the names of Weymouth veterans who were in active duty during the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, the Boxer Rebellion, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
The wall additionally has five bronze plaques that list Weymouth's five Medal of Honor recipients. The plaques include the names of Army Private Elden H. Johnson, Marine 2 nd Lt. Ralph Talbot, Navy Quartermaster Thomas W. Hamilton, Navy Seaman William Seach and Army Private Frederick C. Murphy.
Local veterans who have served in the military during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and thereafter who received an honorable discharge are listed on a red-brick honor wall built by Weymouth Troop 9 Boy Scouts and volunteers last year under the direction of Brendan Quinn, an Eagle Scout.
The honor wall replaced a wooden structure that had fallen into disrepair.
A veteran is eligible to have their name listed on the memorial wall or honor roll if they; served on activity duty during a period of war and were honorably discharged.
Pontes said veterans services has been receiving the names of veterans from residents to be listed on the wall since it was last updated 10 years ago.
"There are thousands of names there that go back to the 1750's," he said.
Residents who wish to have a veterans name listed on the wall can contact veterans' services at 781-340-2405 or by emailing Pontes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquiries can also be sent to Michelle Moran at email@example.com.
Veterans Services requires veterans who are living to sign a release form to grant permission for their name to be listed on the memorial wall.
The document is available at the Weymouth Veterans Services office located at the Whipple Senior Center.
Families and friends of deceased veterans can also submit their names for eligibility consideration to veterans services.
Pontes said Weymouth Veterans Services generally gets a lot of requests to add the names of veterans to the memorial wall following a news report.
"We have been notifying people for years and every time it hits the paper, we get a flood of names," he said. "It is amazing to us the number of times we have people to contact us, but when it is in the paper there are new names that are provided to us. We just got a request to add the name of a World War I veteran who had died years ago."
Pontes said veterans services sometimes receives inquiries about adding a name of a veteran to the memorial wall from a resident who calls on behalf of a neighbor, relative or friend.
"A family member will realize their Uncle Bill's name is not listed on the wall," he said. "In some cases it is a neighbor who noticed the name of someone they served with is not on the wall. There is a lot of different circumstances."
The updating of the memorial wall is coinciding with a restoration project underway that is expected to be completed by Veterans Day.
"They are doing a very nice job," Pontes said. "I'm impressed with the whole process. I have been checking in with the project supervisors on a weekly basis. The veterans I have talked with say they are pleased with the progress.
Town council unanimously approved financing for the renovation on May 1 when it agreed to transfer $800,000 from Weymouth's Community Preservation Act account.
The town adopted the Community Preservation Act in November 2005, when voters approved the measure at the ballot box.
Under the CPA, the first $100,000 of an average assessed property's value is exempt from being taxed and low-income households do not have to pay the additional average yearly $25 surcharge that most property owners pay.
State law requires communities that have adopted the CPA to equally allocate 10 percent of the taxes collected under the measure to protecting undeveloped land, improving resident recreation opportunities, preserving historic structures and assisting community public housing.
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