About the Veterans Commission on Monuments, Memorials, and Dedications

The Veteran's Commission on Monuments, Memorials, and Dedications is responsible for maintaining the custody and care of all monuments, memorials and dedications in the City of Somerville for the purpose of properly commemorating the services and sacrifices of the soldiers, marines and airmen who have served the country in war, or persons who have served the Commonwealth in time of war.

  • Members

  • Square Dedication Program

  • Guidelines for the American Flag

  • Bryan Bishop, Chair
  • Ted Gerber
  • Michael Lambert
  • Helen Latanowich
  • John Liddel
  • Anthony Matarazzo

When Somerville residents have contributed to their City as a veteran of the armed services, a member of public office, a leader of a City organization, or as a citizen performing a heroic act, the City may elect to dedicate a street corner or intersection (known as a 'square') in their honor.

Recently there has been a marked increase in the number of square dedication requests received by the City. The volume of requests has placed a strain on personnel and financial resources. In addition, the current situation has resulted in an unchecked process of verifying the validity of square dedications. Therefore, criteria are required for the dedication of squares.


The following criteria are established for eligibility to have a square dedicated in the name of a specific person or persons:

  • The Individual must have contributed to the civic value of the City in one of the following ways.
  • The individual must:
    • Have been a veteran of the armed services of the United States during hostilities, or have
    • been permanently disabled as a result of their service;
    • Have made a valuable and substantial contribution to the City in an official, civic, or social
    • capacity, which sets them apart from normal civic participation in the affairs of the City. Some examples of this would be:
      • Service in public office, in either an elected or appointed capacity.
      • Service as a leader of an active organization of the community, which contributes to the social well being, am fabric of their neighborhood or the City as a whole.
      • Meritorious and distinguished service as an employee of the City, particularly as a public safety employee;
    • Have performed a heroic or distinguished act completely without regard for personal safety and welfare for the common good.
  • The individual must have been a resident of the City at the time of the act or service to be recognized
  • The individual must be (or have been) a resident of the ward in which the "square" will be dedicated.
  • Each intersection (of three or four corners, depending on the location) will have only one dedication designated. If a request is made to dedicate a square and the square is already dedicated, a new location must be identified and submitted for approval.
  • The City will determine the final location, the manner and type of dedication and the date of the dedication. The requests of the family or other proponent will be considered to the maximum extent possible.





Proper Disposal of the American Flag

  1. Cut the blue field apart from the stripes in a respectful way. Once the flag has been cut into these two separate parts, it is no longer considered to be a flag.
  2. If the flag materials are cotton, bury the pieces in the ground. Make sure you have permission from the property owner.
  3. If the flag materials are nylon, tie the pieces inside a plastic bag and recycle them with other plastic objects.
  4. In the past, unserviceable flags were often ceremonially burned. DO NOT BURN NYLON FLAGS, AS THEY WILL PRODUCE POISONOUS GASES.
  5. Citizens with further questions may call the Department of Veterans’ Services at 617-625-6600 ext. 4700.