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November 12, 2013

A rock of remembrance

Danvers dedicates memorial for veterans

DANVERS — For more than three years, Bruce Eaton had orchestrated a campaign to name the playing fields at Danvers’ Thorpe School the Danvers Veterans Memorial Fields to honor the town’s veterans and to create a permanent memorial.

Everything had gone relatively smoothly. Until last Monday, that is.

With just a week until Veterans Day, the day the massive granite marker and plaque were supposed to be unveiled, there was a problem: The plaque was bent. It wouldn’t fit on the nice flat stone the group had worked so hard to find, architect Robert Farley said.

In the end, it took a lot of phone calls and a few sleepless nights, “right down to the wire,” Farley said. But the job got done, and yesterday, on a perfect, sunny fall morning, the people of Danvers dedicated the new memorial.

More than 200 people filled the auditorium at Thorpe School to celebrate and honor those Danvers residents who sacrificed to serve their country. After that, they walked outside to dedicate the new memorial.

Eaton, a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, president of the Danvers Veterans Council and adjutant of the town’s American Legion Post 180, had reached out to many people in town to complete the project.

Farley, a member of the Danvers Rotary Club and also an Army veteran who served in Korea, had taken part in other public-service projects for the town, including the Pavilion at Mill Pond and the Witchcraft Trials Victims Memorial on Hobart Street.

He was looking for a new project when he ran into Peter Mirandi, who runs the town’s health and veterans affairs departments. Mirandi suggested that Farley speak to Eaton.

The Danvers Youth Soccer and Youth Lacrosse programs had raised money toward the cost of a wooden sign, which was completed last spring with donations from Timberline Industries and the McKenzie Group, a construction business in town.

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