Events

CEREMONY TO HONOR CAPTAIN JOSEPH READ, PARTICIPANT IN THE BOSTON TEA PARTY (Fairview Cemetery, October 15, 1pm)

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum (306 Congress Street, Boston MA) is hoping to honor the participants of the Boston Tea Party by placing a special medallion at their gravesites in time for the 250th anniversary of the famous event in American history. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty and their supporters protested "taxation without representation" by boarding a ship at Griffin's Wharf and dumping 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor (about 45 tons, worth over one million dollars today). The event was considered the first major act of defiance to British rule and it inspired and rallied the 13 colonies in the fight for American independence.

One of the men on board that night has been verified as Captain Joseph Read (1716-1795), who is buried at Fairview Cemetery. Captain Read, who fought in the Revolutionary War and was a member of the Massachusetts Third Provincial Congress, was one of the oldest (at 57) of the known Tea Party participants. The Westford Cemetery Department, the Veterans Services Department, the Westford Historical Society & Museum, the Westford Minutemen are pleased to see Captain Read receive his due acknowledgment and honor.

Please join us for a ceremony to place Captain Read's medallion on October 15, 2022 at 1pm in the Old West Division at Fairview Cemetery (close to the middle entrance). We thank the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum for making this happen.


PAST EVENTS

PATRIOT'S DAY CANDLELIT TOUR OF FAIRVIEW CEMETERY: REVOLUTIONARY WAR HEROES

On Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 6:30-8pm the Westford Historical Society & Museum will be hosting a candlelit tour of the Old West Division with Westford Minuteman Dan Lacroix as your guide. Please see the historical society webpage at https://museum.westford.org/events/patriots-day-candlelight-tribute-fairview-cemetery/ for details; meet at the Tadmuck Road entrance to Fairview Cemetery. Event  Donation $5 per person/$10 per family. Rain date: Saturday April 23, 2022 @6:30pm 

MEMORIAL DAY, 2022

This year we can gladly welcome back the tradition of laying American flags on the graves of our honored veterans. On May 21 veterans from American Legion Post 159 invite volunteers and Scouts to help lay flags beginning at St. Catherine's Cemetery at 7:30 am before moving on to Fairview Cemetery. Please meet the veterans at the site, and while masks are no longer required please try to spread out and stay safe. Pandemic is not over yet!

Should you notice a torn flag or a veterans grave that is missing a flag between May-Dec, please contact the Cemetery Dept or the Veterans Services department. This year flags will remain on graves until the Wreaths Across America event in December, when they are removed to avoid damage from the winter elements.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA, 2021

Westford once again participates in the Wreaths Across America event that began with a ceremony at Pine Grove Cemetery before moving to Fairview and other cemeteries. Robin Pawlowski is a volunteer who organized this entire lovely event. Volunteers, veterans, and Boy Scouts laid wreaths for our fallen heroes and loved ones.

VETERANS DAY 2019-2020

The Town of Westford was forced to cancel traditional Veterans Day events because of the pandemic. However, the Veterans Services Department and local cable TV station Westford CAT collaborated to create a program to honor our veterans. They can still be viewed on YouTube by searching "Memorial Day (year) Westford MA." This year's in-person ceremony was also taped and is also posted to YouTube.

April 2019: Colonel Robinson Honored At Westlawn Cemetery

Members of the Westford Remembers Committee and the Westford Historical Society gathered with residents, public officials and the Westford Colonial Minutemen at Westlawn Cemetery over Patriot’s Day weekend (April 14, 2019) to honor Revolutionary War hero Colonel John Robinson, who lies at rest with many of his fellow soldiers in the historic burial ground. In his honor, a portion of Concord Road alongside the cemetery was renamed the Colonel John Robinson Memorial Highway and a new road sign was unveiled.

Colonel Robinson (1735-1805), a veteran of the French and Indian War and a former Westford town selectman, was Westford’s highest-ranking Revolutionary War officer who led Minutemen to the North Bridge at Concord on April 19, 1775, where they faced down British redcoats and “fired the shot heard ‘round the world.” Colonel Robinson also fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The rechristened memorial highway stretch of Concord Road runs between Rte. 495 and Beaver Brook Road, not far from the school and road already named after the heroic war veteran.

The ceremony recognized Colonel Robinson’s life and achievements. The Westford Colonial Minutemen, who lead the Robinson Trail March to the North Bridge in Concord every Patriot’s Day, fired a volley over his gravesite, which is marked by the tallest slate headstone in the cemetery. Westford firefighter David Christiana, a talented artist who created the town’s 9/11 memorial, unveiled a bronze colonial battle drum and granite stone that he sculpted to memorialize Westford’s native son.

 Should you visit Westlawn to pay your respects to Colonel Robinson and fellow patriots and townspeople who rest there, please respect the graves and refrain from making rubbings or leaning on the vulnerable headstones. For more information and photos of the event please see the Lowell Sun (“Road to grave, saluting Westford’s patriot”) at this link: http://www.lowellsun.com/breakingnews/ci_32575340/road-grave-saluting-westfords-patriot or the Westford Eagle, “Shedding light on a local hero” (April 19) at this link: www.westfordeagle.