Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Resident Comment: Wouldn't it be Great if More Young People Observed Veterans Day?

Usually residents contact ResiStat to request City information or voice a concern about City programs or services. But today we got a request so selfless and unusual, we want to share it. Resident Lauren Bell--who literally has her hands full with her own daily concerns (she had a baby last month)--took time to ask if we could do anything to help get more young people out to honor our Vets at Friday's annual Veterans Day Ceremony in Somerville. Bell isn't connected to the event. She doesn't organize it or even know who does. But as the daughter of a Korean War veteran, she just thinks it would be nice if more of us paid our respects rather than just going shopping that day.

"It hit me last year, that I can take an hour in the morning to thank these people for their sacrifice," said Bell. "They put on this parade every year for us. But the people who served, they don't ask us for much."

Everyone is invited to Friday's ceremony in honor of the estimated 7,700 to 9,000 veterans who live in Somerville. At 10 a.m., members of the Allied Veterans Council, Mayor Curtatone, and members of the Board of Aldermen, will meet at the VFW Dilboy Post, 371 Summer St, to make brief speeches to recognize and honor those who served.

The ceremony lasts about 30 minutes, but if you stay and mingle afterward, you may meet some real heroes.


  1. So why is the city harassing this VFW post, bricking off some of their space, and possibly forcing it to close permanently after tonight?


  2. More on this subject:


    Does the city support the veterans' post, or not?

  3. The City has been reviewing these issues with Dilboy Post management for the past two months. The reason matters came to a head when they did was that the VFW was slow to come up with a concrete plan to address the building’s serious fire and safety hazards. As a result, the City has had provide fire details (on-site supervisory fire personnel) for recent events at Dilboy Post. Rather than put in a sprinkler system, or pay for a fire detail every time its doors are opened, the Dilboy Post seems to be taking steps to reduce their occupancy so that they are covered by a more flexible set of regulations. After the City received complaints on November 8th concerning the building’s use as a polling place (voting was possible only because a fire detail was on scene all day), the City could not delay official action any longer. The proximity to Veteran’s Day was both coincidental and unavoidable.

  4. My understanding is that other cities allow their veterans' posts to reduce their allowed capacity without having to brick up parts of their properties. Somerville should be similarly flexible.

  5. Ron, For some time now the City has worked with the VFW to do just this. In exchange for a promise to not exceed a lower occcupancy rate, the VFW was eligible to operate under rules that allowed the building as is to hold a limited number of occupants. The City provided fire details for events that exceeded that occupancy. However, when inspectors were recently called in to the VFW, they discovered additional issues that required the walling off of part of the basement game room in order to safely keep the building open and up to code at the lower occupancy rate. The City of Somerville, and any City, only has the ability to be flexible within the law. This is a safety matter and we are required to follow fire codes.

  6. Why are our comments not showing up in the right column under 'Recent Comments' ?


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