Framingham Veterans Memorial Park To Host Veterans Day Ceremony

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FRAMINGHAM – As a kid growing up in South Framingham, Framingham Assistant Fire Chief John Schultz used to drive his bike past Veterans Memorial Park and think nothing of it. He said he really never noticed the monument by famed sculptor Emilius R. Ciampa.

But over the past year, Chief Schultz has gotten to know every inch of the park, as he has worked with volunteers since February to raise more than $200,000 to revitalize the park, and he has put in more than 100 hours creating a brick walkway to honor Veterans.

“I always wanted to give back to the city of Framingham,” said Deputy Chief Schultz on Tuesday afternoon as he was still putting in a few more hours for the park’s big revitalization ceremony on Veterans Day Thursday, November 11.

“My parents both served and my two sons are in the military. One is in the Army and one is in the Marines,” said Chief Schultz.

The Chief said his parents both served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Constructed in 1952, Framingham Veterans Memorial Park on Concord Street, adjacent to the courthouse and the Framingham Housing Authority, has not been updated since 1985.

Framingham Police Lt. Robert Downing, an Army Veteran, spearheaded the revitalization project.

In February, a small group of volunteers began working on fundraising and set an ambitious timeline for November 11 to re-open the park.

The monument was refurbished. Additional plaques were added to honor conflicts after Vietnam.

Rousseau Realty sponsored the American Flag Pole. And flag poles were added for each branch of the military and sponsored by community members, businesses, and organizations.

Service Flag Poles were sponsored by the Connery Family, Richard & Judith Barbieri, Langley Family, Roy MacDowell and the MacDowell Family, MetroWest Vietnam Memorial, Paganella Family.

Families, as well as the Framingham Police and Framingham Fire unions, sponsored benches in the park, along a brick walkway, that features an artistic brick mosaic which has a portion of an American Flag along with the name of each branch of the military.

Chief Schultz spent hours and many weekends with other volunteers cutting and laying the brick for the walkway.

Members of the community sponsored bricks in the walkway. They are bricks for a Purple Heart recipient, a Bronze Star recipient, World War I, World War II, Iraq, Civil War, Veterans. There are bricks for Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Veterans.

“As a committee we wanted anybody who had served or a family with a someone who served to remember the service with a brick,” said Chief Schultz.

PaverArt provided the center artistic display, and it was sponsored by Nick & Patricia Paganella.

“I grew up down the street from this park. Now, I hope the public comes and appreciates the service so many gave. I hope they appreciate the Veterans Park for a long time to come and are proud of this park. It is something special,” said Chief Schultz.

The City of Framingham will hold a Veterans Day Ceremony at the Park at 11 a.m. on November 11. Attendees are asked to arrive by 10:45 a.m. Parking available at the court house.


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