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.

  • Heroes Square Dedication Program

  • Members

  • Guidelines for the American Flag

  • Henry Hansen Park Redesign

The following criteria are established for eligibility to have a square dedicated in the City of Somerville in the name of a specific person or persons. The living or deceased Veteran must:

☐ 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

☐ Nominee must be a resident of Somerville, MA, or lived a large portion of their life in Somerville

☐ Must be a veteran of one of the five Armed Forces of the United States, including: Reserve or National Guard, or United States Merchant Marines.

☐ Must be able to supply an Honorable DD-214 clearly showing dates of Service, Characterization of Service and awards and decorations. 

☐ Recipients will be selected based on: 

  • Dedication: Have a dedication to supporting their fellow veterans and their community
  • Service: Demonstrate a commitment to service in their community. (project, advocacy, heroism...)
  • Excellence: Be an example for other veterans.
  • One page biography telling the story of candidate and why this honor should be bestowed.

☐ Served for a minimum of 3 continuous active duty years

For a Veteran to qualify for “Heroes Square Dedication” (Street Corner Sign), the individual must have performed a heroic or distinguished act completely without regard for personal safety and well-being. The Veteran must have made a valuable and substantive contribution to the U.S. Military and 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. These are executional civic contributions that have had, or will have, a long-lasting impact on the lives of citizens of the City of Somerville and/or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 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.
  • Copies of Awards, citations, other accolades to corroborate accomplishments. Newspaper clippings of accomplishments.

Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office via email: veterans@somervillema.gov or 617-625-6600 ext 4700. We are here to assist you with this process.

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

 

 

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