Millis to Dedicate New Memorial on Veterans Day

J.D. O’Gara
New Monument Honors Veterans from end of Vietnam through Present Day
John Monti, of A. Monti Granite Company, in Quincy lays etchings atop granite that will become Millis’ memorial to its fallen veterans from the Vietnam War through all conflicts to the present day. The stone came from the same quarry as the Vietnam/Korean monument, which was etched by Monti’s father. It will be dedicated at the Millis Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on November 11.
Issue Date: 
November, 2016
Article Body: 

The Veterans Day Ceremony in Millis will take place on November 11, 2016. The ceremony will begin promptly at 11 a.m. at the Veterans newly expanded Memorial Park in front of the Millis Town Hall. This year’s program will include the dedication of the new Veterans Memorial to honor all those Millis residents who have served during the conflicts in Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf War.
“This brings to a conclusion what I hoped, what I wanted to see accomplished and I’m pleased to see that the town is finally going to complete it as we hoped it would be,” says lifelong Millis resident, WWII veteran and American Legion Post 208 member Bud Shropshire, who came up with a design for the site at Veterans Memorial Building and advocated for an expanded memorial for about 16 years.
When the new Millis Police Station was to be built, the Korean/Vietnam War memorial o the site needed to be moved to the Veterans Memorial Building.
“That process has been going on for at least two years now,” says Millis DPW Director Jim McKay. “That left an opening to design something from Vietnam on for every conflict. There was nothing that commemorated the veterans from that time period.”
Thanks to the research efforts of past Millis Veterans Services Officers Bob Yeager and John Wypizinski, as well as the Millis’ current Veterans Officer, Cynthia Harris, says McKay, the new monument, created by the same company, A. Monti Granite Company, that created the Vietnam/Korean monument, contains over 80 names of fallen Millis soldiers.
Some of those soldiers named, says McKay, served in different conflicts. Harris, he says, came up with a way to address this on the monument.
“There might be around 10 people that have served in different conflicts, and the way we’re going to commemorate them is, beside each name, there will be a star put there, and that will indicate they served in more than one of the conflicts.
It’s one of the greatest things that I’ve worked on since I’ve been here. To look at names like that, and you see that they were young kids you’ve seen on the ball field – meeting with all the veterans from WWII to the present – it’s been a complete honor working on something like this,” says McKay.
With the walkway and lighting, says McKay, people are telling him that they’ve looked at the memorial for the first time. They become even more enthusiastic when they hear there will be another monument installed.
“This is the first time since 1975, when the Vietnam war ended, that all those that served in the conflict will be recognized,” says Mark Slayton, Vietnam veteran and American Legion Post 208 member.
The Master of Ceremonies will be American Legion Post 208 Commander Lawrence J. McCarter, SMSgt, USAF (Ret). Participants will include: American Legion Post 208, AMVETS Post 495, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1885, Millis Board of Selectman, Millis Police Department, Millis Fire Department, Millis School Band, Boy Scouts Troop 15, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts Pack 115 and Cub Scouts Pack 165.