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News

City readies for Memorial Day

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On Monday, May 29th, Peabody will celebrate Memorial Day as it has every year, but this year is set to be extra special. Two very important events will take place: the awarding of the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty, and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The Medal of Liberty is a distinction awarded to the next of kin of fallen soldiers. It will be the first time families of Peabody’s fallen will be awarded the medal. Since its inception, the state has awarded 145 Medals of Liberty to families of fallen soldiers.

The medal differs from the Purple Heart, which is also awarded to those injured or killed in action (KIA). Families of fallen service members are recognized as “Gold Star Families”.

It is a tedious process to award the medal to fallen soldiers’ family members. First a community must identify those fallen, then they must send the family’s application for the medal to the state for approval. Once that is complete, the family receives the medal. The medal is purple, like the Purple Heart, but also features a gold star to honor the ‘Gold Star’ Families.

Estimates put the number of those eligible for the medal across Massachusetts in the 10,000s. Any fallen solider since 1776, including those that perished in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, Gulf War, or Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are eligible.

This year, 10 fallen soldiers’ families identified will receive the medal at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony, at approximately 11:45am on the lawn of the city hall. Many local news outlets are expected to attend the event.

“It was really a team effort that made the whole thing come together,” said Steve Patten, Director of Veterans Affairs and veteran himself. “This is set to be one of the bigger memorial days,” he went on. “It’s going to be really something special.”

Patten also wanted readers to know that the committee is still looking for the families of two fallen Peabody soldiers, Ralph Maney and Richard Cotter. Anyone with any information about the pair’s families is encouraged to reach out so that their families might receive the medal.


Festivities

This year the Memorial Day activities will begin at 9:30am at the Cedar Grove Cemetery. Visitors will pay their respects and then move on to Washington Street to assemble for the parade. The mayor will present the medals on behalf of the Governor at 11:45am.

Below is the itinerary of events courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Steve Patten, director:


8:30 AM – VFW bus will leave for services at Cedar Grove Cemetery (Pumping Station Rd) where we will be forming up to march into the cemetery for services at Veterans Memorial Park.

PAWV bus will leave for services aat Cedar Grove Cemetery where we will be forming up to march into the cemetery for services at Veterans Memorial Park.


9:00AM – Form on Cedar Grove Ave and Pumping Station Rd (near cemetery entrance) to march into Cedar Grove Cemetery for 9:30AM Memorial Service at Veterans Memorial Park.The Commander of each organization will read the names of their departed members for the past year.


10:30AM – Assemble for the Parade.Form-up for the Parade at Washington Street and Allen’s Lane, Hingston St., and Hourihan St.


11:00AM – Parade steps-off and marches to City Hall.At the conclusion of the parade, there will be a ceremony in front of the WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam Monuments to honor those veterans who have made the supreme sacrifice.

At the conclusion of the ceremony at City Hall, there will be a collation at the VFW, PAWV and the JWV.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Acoustic Archives Concert Series: Alec Hutson at the Peabody Institute Library

The Peabody Institute Library is pleased to announce the next concert in our Acoustic Archives Concert Series, which brings live music to the library’s historic Sutton Room. The series continues with singer/songwriter Alec Hutson on Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, which is located at 82 Main St. in Peabody.

A potent mixture of soul, folk and rock, Hutson’s music is set to entrance your mind and move your feet. As a solo artist, he picks and strums beautiful rhythms on guitar and sings soaring indie-folk melodies, all while accompanying himself rhythmically on a suitcase kick drum and foot tambourine. This captivating one-man act performs regularly around the Greater Boston area and beyond.

The Acoustic Archives Concert Series is generously sponsored by the Peabody Institute Library Foundation. For more information and to reserve your seat, please call 978-531-0100 ext. 10, or register online at http://www.peabodylibrary.org.

 

Eight seniors honored with Peabody’s highest award

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Last week eight Peabody High students earned the auspicious honor of the George Peabody Medal, an award granted annually to the top 8 academic performers at the school.

Makenzie Hery, Ann Dominique Sta. Cruz, Spencer May, Katherine Scacchi, Samuel Neumann, Isabela Valencia, James Russo, and Courtney Barrett, all worked hard enough to make it into the top eight, which comes with a “George Peabody Medal” and induction into the city’s annals of recipients.

The library has kept track of every recipient awarded the medal since 1855, as contained in a booklet handed out to the 2017 awardees.

Noted philanthropist George Peabody began the Peabody Institute Library as a gift to the citizens of then as it was known, South Danvers. In thanking him for his contributions, which numbered many, South Danvers officials lent Peabody’s name to the high school, known onwards as Peabody High and later Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. To thank them, Peabody decided to award a scholarship to the top performing students, the first award given in 1855.

Peabody gave the Trustees of the Peabody Institute Library the responsibility to manage and distribute any future monies to whomever they saw fit. Today, the honor is bestowed on the top 8 students by GPA. The trustees began awarding the medal to just 8 students in 1944, and that tradition hasn’t wavered.

Today, the Peabody Institute Library Board of Trustees still bestows the students with the honor. On hand to officiate the ceremony was Richard Shruhan, current President of the Board of Trustees.

“By your hard work and academic achievement you keep George Peabody’s memory alive.” Shruhan said, congratulating the students on their achievement.

The medals themselves will be presented at graduation. In the meantime, the board presented each student with a citation fromthe Massachusetts State Legislature, recognizing their achievement.

School Committee member Tom Rossignoll spoke on behalf of the mayor, who was unable to attend.

“Thank you for representing your peers with honor and dignity.” Rossignoll said before a crowd of local dignitaries, parents and family members, and of course, students. “You’ve worked your entire academic career to achieve this,” he said. “Never lose your passion for learning and dare to be better than you are.”

Interim superintendent Herb Levine, also present to laud the class, launched into a tale about good and bad decisions. One of his great decisions, he said, was joining the chorus while at Revere High School. One of his worse decisions, he explained, included trying to play golf and not trying harder to play saxophone.

“You made some wonderful decisions to get in the Top 8.” Levine said, turning more serious. He then asked students to work on things that were, in his terms, “a little more fudgy”.

“Kindness, compassion, decency, and changing the world, whether you change just part of the world,” Levine said, are important. “One of the greatest things you can do is put a smile on the face of someone who doesn’t have so much.”

By Melanie Higgins


   

Peabody celebrates the outdoors with “Kids to Parks Day”

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Last Saturday (May 20) Peabody celebrated its first Kids to Parks Day, an increasingly popular celebration across the country of parks and open spaces and an opportunity for the city’s youngest to enjoy them. The annual event is an initiative by the National Park Trust, “a land conservancy and environmental education nonprofit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow,” according to its website. Its signature Kids to Parks Day aims at getting kids outside and enjoying the natural beauty of local parks.

In Peabody, kids enjoyed a variety of activities held at Ross Park, James Street Park, The Meadow at Peabody Golf Course, and Brooksby Farm to name a few. Some golfed (at The Meadow), played disc golf, a unique sport that combines golf and frisbee, produced sidewalk chalk art, had a “kids garage sale” and explored the big world of trucks at “Touch-a-Truck” at Brooksby Farm. Thanks to some seasonable weather, the day was a success.

“We had a nice day!” Director of Recreation, Parks, and Forestry Jen Davis said. “We will continue to promote Kids to Parks Day annually; the events might change, but we want kids to get out and enjoy the outdoors in the parks in Peabody.”

At Brooksby, the department gave away 200+ bike helmets and will continue to give away more in the coming months. We want “kids and families to get out on their bikes and explore the trails, but to be safe and wear a helmet,” Davis said.

“Peabody is committed to healthy living and our wonderful parks … recreation areas like the South Peabody Nature Trail and Brooksby Farm provide excellent spaces for outdoor play,” Mayor Ted Bettencourt said in a statement.

The Kids to Parks initiative is in its seventh year nationwide. It encourages play with the motto “active kids are healthy kids” and promotes the cultivation of active, healthy lifestyles. Many mayors across the country, including Peabody’s, are dedicating May 20 as “Kids to Parks Day.” The day also celebrates Peabody’s many and varied parks and recreational spaces.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Tanner track teams win NEC league meet

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Peabody hosted this year’s Northeastern Conference (NEC) track & field league meet last Saturday and made the most of it, as both the boys’ and girls’ squads earned first-place finishes. The Tanner boys collected 170 points to run away from the rest of the field. Somerville was the runner-up with 112. On the girls’ side, Peabody finished with 105 points to distance second-place Gloucester by 19.

For the boys, Peabody’s Moisse Irizarry was the winner of the 400- and 110-meter hurdles and placed second in the high jump. Shane Braz clocked in at 10:03 to win the two-mile race while teammate Joe Farhat came home in second. Other Peabody individual winners in the boys’ meet were Patrick Pang in the shot put, Connor Ramos in the discus and Marc Alperen in the 800 meters.

The Tanner girls were led by first-place finishes from Amanda Andrews in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Sophie Anderle in the 400 hurdles and Nene Onwuogu in the discus.

For a complete listing and rundown of last Saturday’s results, visit the website coolrunning.com.

By Greg Phipps


   

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