The new plaque arrived Wednesday. On Friday, an employee of the monument company drove to Danvers and began drilling the holes. The work continued until it got dark, then resumed on Saturday.
Finally, the plaque was affixed to the stone. On Sunday, with just hours to go before the ceremony, the edges were sealed.
The ceremony included patriotic songs by the Danvers Girl Scouts and the Danvers High School Chamber Singers; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Bruce Sweeter, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2359 and a color guard; an invocation by the Rev. Michael Doyle of St. Mary of the Annunciation Church; and Boy Scouts to guide the guests.
The Danvers Alarm List, a group of American Revolution re-enactors, delivered gun salutes.
Before the dedication, the crowd heard from retired Army National Guard Capt. Charles Gould, who now serves as commander of the American Legion Post 180 in Danvers.
Gould, 50, recounted his experiences serving in Bosnia in 1996, where what was supposed to be a nine-month deployment went a bit longer.
“The Army forgot we were there,” he quipped.
A few years later, in 2004, he was told he was heading back to Bosnia. But then, while the preparations were underway, his unit was instead ordered to Iraq, where he was at one point stationed in Tikrit and got to see one of Saddam Hussein’s legendary golden bathrooms.
But his lighthearted recounting of his service took a more somber tone as he read the words to the bugle call, taps, his voice breaking.
“That was heartrending,” Eaton said, as the crowd stood and applauded in tribute to Gould.