MEMORIAL DAY, 2020
Town veterans and volunteers will meet on Saturday, May 16 to place American flags on veterans gravesites at St. Catherine’s and Fairview cemeteries. Flags will remain on veterans graves until Veterans Day (Nov). If you would like to help place flags, please meet at St. Catherine’s Cemetery on May 16 at 8 a.m., wear a mask and practice social distance. The group will then proceed to Fairview. Should you notice a torn flag or a veterans grave that is missing a flag between May-Nov, please contact the Cemetery Dept (692-5526) or Veterans Services.
The Town of Westford has had to cancel traditional Memorial Day events for Monday, May 25 because of the pandemic. The Veterans Services Department is working with cable station Westford CAT to create a TV program instead to honor our veterans. Please see westfordcat.org for more information and tune in to watch!
WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA, 2019
Westford is making plans to participate in Wreaths Across America again this year and will lay wreaths on the graves of veterans resting in Westford cemeteries. Nicole Pelletier started Westford’s participation in the program in 2016 after being inspired by participating in the event at Arlington National Cemetery. Please join us on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at noon to lay wreaths for our fallen heroes. Our goal is to purchase more than 1,000 wreaths this year. Please go to wreathsacrossamerica.org/MA0049 to purchase/sponsor a wreath and to help Westford continue this special holiday, family-friendly tradition. Contact the cemetery department or the Veterans Services Office for more information.
Colonel Robinson Honored At Westlawn Cemetery, April 2019
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.