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Remembering Armistice Day in North Andover
Ted Tripp

November 11th is Veterans Day, the day when we honor our country’s veterans from all wars. North Andover will celebrate with its usual parade, ceremony at Ridgewood Cemetery and gathering at the VFW hall on Park Street.

Those who are older will remember that Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day before 1954 when President Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name.

Armistice Day was established in 1919 to recognize all those who fought and died in the World War – which World War I was called at the time. The armistice treaty ending the war on the Western Front was signed near Compiègne, France at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. This explains the tradition of a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on November 11th, Veterans Day.

North Andover has a long tradition of recognizing its veterans. The World War was no exception. At the annual town meeting in March 1920, the town appropriated $7,500 for a monument to be erected in memory of those who served in the war. Two years later town meeting accepted Memorial Park, donated by the Tavern Land Company, and now called Patriots Memorial Park across from the library.

On June 10, 1922, North Andover officially dedicated a beautiful marble Memorial Monument to the World War veterans and the Memorial Park in which it stands.

The ceremony was presided over by Nathaniel Stevens. The High School Chorus sang “America the Beautiful.” The monument was unveiled by Mrs. Thomas Thompson and Mrs. Ernest Drouin, respectively representing Albert Thomson and Arthur Drouin, who were the only North Andover residents killed in the war. After presentation and acceptance of the monument, the High School Chorus sang “To Thee Oh Country.” The principal address was given by Rev. William Patrick, chaplain of American Legion Post 219.

There was also a parade to celebrate the occasion. It was led by the Platoon Police, the Foss’ Military Band, Wagon Company 102, and Battery C. This was followed by the Eighth Regiment Drum Corps and members of American Legion Post 219 North Andover, Post 15 Lawrence and Post 122 Methuen. The third division included the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Fire Department and automobiles with Grand Army of the Republic veterans and invited guests.

North Andover only had about 6100 residents at the time of the World War. Of those, 340 chose to serve their country when it needed them most. This Veterans Day, let’s also remember those who served in that long-forgotten war and to whom this appreciative holiday was originally dedicated.

Ted Tripp is an International Consultant in high-tech manufacturing methods. He has BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT. You can reach him at tripp@gis.net



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The November, 2006 Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly Publication.
All Contents (C) 2006
, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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