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

  • Hero's Square Dedication Program

  • Guidelines for the American Flag

  • Henry Hansen Park Redesign

  • Ted Louis-Jacques, Chair
  • Ted Gerber
  • Michael Lambert
  • Helen Latanowich
  • John Liddel
  • Anthony Matarazzo

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 meet the following criteria:

§ Veteran – For a Veteran to qualify for “Heroes Square” (Street Corner), the Veteran must have had honorable service in one or more of the branches of the Armed forces of the United States during a time of war or conflict AND one or more of the following criteria must be met.

  • Killed in Action during a time of declared conflict or war
  • Received one or a combination of the following decorations:

§ The Congressional Medal of Honor

§ The Purple Heart

§ The Silver Star

§ The Bronze Star

§ The Distinguished Flying Cross

§ Air Medal

§ Any combat-related award, medal or citation for Valor, Heroism or service above and beyond the call of duty

  • 100% Disabled due to wounds sustained in battle.

§ *NOTE: No street corner or square shall be named for any LIVING person without the unanimous approval by the Somerville Commission on Monuments, Memorials and Dedications

§ Non-Veteran – An individual must have made a valuable and substantive contribution to the City of Somerville in an official, civic or social capacity which sets them apart from the normal civic participation in the affairs of the City. Examples of such contributions are as follows:

  • Service in Public Office – elected or appointed capacity
  • Honorable Service in the National Guard or Reserves for a combined service time of over 25 years.
  • Service as a leader of an active organization of the community which contributes to the well-being and fabric of their neighborhood or the City.
  • Meritorious and distinguished service as an employee of the City; and/or

§ Having performed a heroic or distinguished act completely without regard for personal safety and well-being.

  • The individual must be (or have been) a resident of the Ward in which the dedication will be made.

Documentation Required:

All Candidates:

  • One page biography telling the story of candidate and why this honor should be bestowed


  • A DD Form 214 must be submitted clearly showing dates of Service, Characterization of Service and awards and decorations


  • Statements verifying executional civic contributions that will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of citizens of the City of Somerville or Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
  • Newspaper clippings of accomplishments
  • Copies of Awards, citations, other accolades to corroborate accomplishments



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.

Henry Hansen stands at the raising of the US flag over Iwo Jima

Henry Hansen Park, located at the corner of Medford St. and Partridge Ave., honors Sergeant Henry O. “Hank” Hansen, a Magoun Square resident killed in action just one week after participating in the first flag-raising on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi. The current Park features a garden, benches, a granite memorial tablet and a sculpture “tree” bearing information about World War II. The City of Somerville welcomes residents to take part in the community meeting process to oversee the Park's redesign honoring Sergeant Hansen's sacrifice.

May 1, 2018 Community Meeting

March 26, 2018 Community Meeting

August 21, 2018 Community Meeting

September 26, 2018 Community Meeting