Photo credit: Holyoke veterans services
Photo caption: Dress uniforms of veterans who served in three branches of the U.S. Armed Forces from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries will be on display at the War Memorial Building during the Veterans Day event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
HOLYOKE — United Veterans of Holyoke and Holyoke Veterans Services will hold a Veterans Day ceremony Friday, November 11, in the War Memorial Building, 310 Appleton Street.
Doors open at 9 a.m. for coffee and donuts. The ceremony begins at 10. The keynote speaker is U.S. Army Brigadier General John Driscoll (retired). Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia will also speak.
Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day — a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead, but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. Awards for Veteran of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Public Safety of the Year will be issued. Master of Ceremonies for this event will be Chris Sims of the War Memorial Commission.
For more information, contact United Veterans of Holyoke at 413-322-5631.
Dress uniforms of veterans who served in three branches of the U.S. Armed Forces from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries will be on display at the War Memorial Building during the Veterans Day event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The original exhibit, curated by historian Nic Anderson of UMass, was created from uniform collections at Holyoke Veterans Services and Wistariahurst and aims to help viewers interpret and understand the subtleties of military uniform insignia and details.
The exhibit is part of the Massachusetts State Historic Records Advisory Board Veterans Heritage Preservation Grant project undertaken through a collaboration between Holyoke Veterans Services and Wistariahurst. Other work includes the collection, transcription and cataloging of seven Holyoke veterans’ oral histories which are now available to hear or read at Wistariahurst; new mannequins, illuminated display case flag hanging system and storage system for flags and uniforms at the War Memorial Building, and an inventory and catalog of all the uniforms in the Veterans Services Collection.
Holyoke Veterans Services Director Jesus Pereira said, “My appreciation for preserving our local military history has been transformed and now cemented as a core duty of the Veterans Services Office. Families, friends, and veterans from our community bonded as veterans shared a piece of their lives with the rest of us in Holyoke. The stories brought about by these uniforms put into perspective the commitment, sacrifice, and selflessness our Holyoke veterans have displayed with their service. It’s a much-needed reminder to the public at large that freedom isn’t free, and the cost of our liberties is paid for by the blood sweat and tears of our service members. I can’t express enough my gratitude to the staff of the Wistariahurst Museum, the Massachusetts State Historic Records Advisory Board, and all those who participated in implementing this grant project.” Wistariahurst, Veterans Services and the War Memorial Commission look forward to continuing their collaboration to create a solid preservation plan for the memorabilia contained in the War Memorial Building.
This work was supported by a Massachusetts State Historic Records Advisory Board Veterans Heritage Preservation Grant, a Holyoke Local Cultural Council Grant, the Wistariahurst Foundation and the City of Holyoke.