To the editor:
The WWII veterans have been called by many as the greatest generation.
We know that many others before us have also given their lives, their health and their fortune for our country and our liberty. However, I proudly think that we were one of them.
Our WWII memorial has been erected to honor all of our veterans from Gloucester that served during that terrible conflict. In all, 5,665 men and women from our city served in WWII, which was 22 percent of Gloucester’s population at that time.
Nationwide, 11 percent of the population served. We had over twice the national average and maybe the highest percentage of citizens serving from any city or town in the nation.
Because we, the WWII Memorial Committee, wanted a memorial to be a lasting reminder for all our citizens and visitors too, with the help of local businesses, citizens, and state Sen. Bruce Tarr and our then Congressman Anthony Verga and some help from the state, we worked to make that happen.
Now the good news, as you know, is that the WWII Memorial Committee was formed in November 2002. We designed the memorial, raised the money, erected and then dedicated the memorial on July 4, 2006. With the devoted work of two of our committee members, they were able to find and put together a list of the 5,665 of our citizens who served in WWII.
The original list that we got from the city was something just over 2,000. We published a book that includes them all. It is available at the Veterans Center and they are free while they last.
If you or someone you know is a WWII veteran and has lived in Gloucester over 10 years, they are qualified to have a memorial brick. The veteran must have an honorable discharge. That and $200 for the perpetual care of the memorial will entitle a Gloucester veteran of WWII a brick with the veteran’s name, outfit that he or she served in and also the theater that he or she served in engraved on it.
The last section of memorial bricks is more than half subscribed. Soon there will be no room for procrastinators. We expect to have the last section in the ground before Memorial Day 2013.
We have a complete list of the veterans’ names on our website. However, we would like more photos of our veterans in uniform for our website. Submit them, and we will include them. Again, there is no charge for this entire service.
Check our website www.gloucesterww2veterans.org. If you find any errors or omissions, let us know, so that we may correct them.
Chairman, Gloucester WWII Memorial Committee