By Alex MacDougall
BU News Service
WORCESTER — Monday marks the celebration of Veterans Day, with parades and festivities scheduled to take place in many cities across the country, and Worcester is no exception. For this city located in the heart of the commonwealth, Veterans Day may hold a particularly significant meaning.
Worcester is home to Veterans Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans across New England who have faced homelessness, as well as the Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located in Green Hill Park, which lists the names of every Massachusetts solider to die either from combat or wounds sustained during the Vietnam War.
Veterans Inc. is one of the main organizers of Worcester’s Veterans Day Celebration, alongside the City of Worcester, through the Worcester Veterans Council and City Manager Ed Augustus, Jr.
Events begin at 8 a.m., with a Veterans Day pancake breakfast held at Veterans Inc.’s main location on Grove Street. It will feature speeches by Vincent J. Perrone, the president and CEO of Veterans Inc., as well as Executive Director Denis M. Leary (not to be confused with comedian Denis Leary, who also hails from Worcester).
“We’re anticipating over 300 guests for the breakfast,” said Erin Daley Stelmach, the leadership giving officer and media specialist for Veterans Inc. “This is our 25th year holding the breakfast. It’s such an enjoyable day, with everyone expressing their gratitude towards the military.”
From there, the Veteran’s Day Parade will proceed along Grove Street, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m. The parade will feature several veteran’s groups, as well as many civic organizations around Worcester.
“Anyone’s really welcome to participate,” said Ed O’Connor, Director of Veterans’ Services for the City of Worcester. “Any organization that’s civic in nature and supports veterans. I’ve had in the past car dealerships and ambulance companies put in a truck.”
At 1 p.m., two separate ceremonies are set to take place to honor military veterans who have served in past conflicts. One is at the Korean War Memorial on Foster Street, near Union Station, and the other is at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which will feature a wreath-laying and is led by the the president of the board of directors of the memorial, Phil Madaio, a Purple Heart recipient and former infantryman during the Vietnam War.
This will be the 66th annual Veterans Day celebration for the City of Worcester, though the city has been holding parades for 101 years, dating back to when the holiday was known as Armistice Day. It is still known in many other countries by its original title, meant to commemorate the ending of World War I.
Click the flags on the map to see the location the location of Veterans Day events taking place around the city of Worcester on Monday, including the parade route.
To see what’s happening in your community for Veteran’s Day click here.