Honoring Norwood’s Veterans

Norwood has a long history of proud military service, going back to the Colonial Wars, and the town and townspeople have done an excellent job of paying tribute to those veterans throughout the years.

Downtown Norwood

Located in the center of town is the Norwood Municipal Memorial Building. Also known as the Town Hall, this building stands as a tribute to the veterans of Norwood. It was dedicated ninety one years ago today, on November 11, 1928.

Just outside Memorial Hall are plaques with the names of all those Norwood veterans who served from conflicts and wars up until World War I.

On Veteran’s Day 2002, the town dedicated four more wooden plaques inside Memorial Hall, commemorating the 101 Norwood veterans who died serving in WWI, WWII, The Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War.

Outside the Town Hall is a cannon captured from the German forces in World War I. It was presented to the town by American Legion Post No. 70 , 91 years ago today on November 11, 1928.

On May 12, 1943 the Town of Norwood placed the “Roll of Honor”, a list of men and women from Norwood serving in the armed forces during WWII, on the town common. The list was later moved to the walls of Memorial Hall in the Town Hall.

On the northwest corner of the Norwood Town Common is a beautiful 20 foot high statue, “Protector’s of the American Way”  which pays tribute to all of Norwood’s veterans. Created by Woburn artist Robert Shure, it was made possible by a donation from Norwood resident and veteran of two wars, Frank Simoni. The statue was dedicated in a grand ceremony on September 15, 1991, and depicts our military guarding an American family.

Here is the statue in 2018.

Across from Town Hall is the Combat Infantrymen monument.

“Dedicated To All Norwood Combat Infantrymen.

Freedom Has A Flavor The Protected Will Never Know.

Erected By The Combat Infantrymen Association New England Regiment

On the Washington street side of the Town Common, is this monument which reads:

“Dedicated to the heroic valor and patriotic spirit of the men and women of the town of Norwood who served in the armed forces of the United States of America and all its wars.”

Heading East from the Town Common on Nahatan St, you will pass under the George T. Lee Memorial Bridge.

Col. Lee, a Norwood High graduate, was a fighter pilot in World War II who flew an impressive 258 combat missions in Europe and became the youngest Colonel in the air corps at that time. He died on active duty at the age of 35 in 1954. In 1988, the Bridge was named in his honor.

Aaron Guild Park

South on Washington street around a quarter of a mile away from the Town Common in Aaron Guild Park, there are several monuments to Norwood veterans.

This monument was dedicated by the Norfolk County Marine Corps League in 1957 to recognize and salute the service of United States Marines.

The inscription reads

In Memory of

All Marines of Norfolk County

Who Gave Their Lives

For Our Country

This beautiful bench was donated in 2007 by the Norwood high School Class of 1948.

Dedicated to Those

Men and Women who

Served in the Armed Forces

During the Korean Conflict

There’s also a stone marker commemorating the 5 Norwood men who fought in the Siege of Louisbourg in 1745.

Aaron Guild and his oxen on the Norwood Town Seal.

Morrill Memorial Library

Not far from Aaron Guild Park, in front of the Morrill Memorial Library is a stone marker marking the spot where Aaron Guild dropped his plow when he received news of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Guild made it to Lexington in time to fire upon retreating British soldiers, or so the story goes.

Near This Spot Capt Aaron Guild On April 19, 1775 Left Plow In Furrow, Oxen Standing And Departing For Lexington, Arrived In Time To Fire Upon The Retreating British

The town seal bears an image of Guild and his oxen, and both Guild street and Guild park are named after him.

Highland Cemetery

There are almost 5000 veterans buried at Highland Cemetery on Winter Street, mostly in private or family lots. In 1973, the Town of Norwood converted a plot of land in the center of the cemetery adjacent to the cemetery office into a Veteran’s section. Over 175 veterans are buried in this section today.

The annual Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day parades both end near this section of Highland Cemetery every year.

American Legion Post No. 70 dedicated this bronze memorial tablet to Norwood’s WWI soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in 1921. It sits just West of the Veteran’s section.

In Memory Of Their Comrades

Who In The World War on Land and Sea

Fought Valliantly, Suffered, Endured,

Gave All In Service And Gained

Through Death Immortal Life

In 1896, The House of Representatives authorized the Committee on Naval Affairs in Washington to donate a “condemned cannon and 4 pyramids of cannon balls” to George K. Bird Post, No. 169, Grand Army of The Republic to be placed in Highland Cemetery. The monument is dedicated to the South Dedham soldiers who died in the Civil War (1861-1865, a decade before South Dedham became Norwood).

In Memory of Our Comrades From So. Dedham, Now Norwood, Who Fell In Defense Of The Union In The War of The Rebellion 1861-65

Charles H Sulkoski co. I 35th Mass Inf

Michael Colbert

John G Bymond

Joseph P White

John H Birch

Julius Bochme co. B 26th Mass Inf

Albert C Bean

John E Richardson co. B 4th Mass Cav

Geo. W Lord Company E 11th U.S. Inf

Died Nov 25, 1889 Aged 61 Yrs

Wm R. Alden co. B 24th Mass Inf.

Died Oct 11, 1896 Aged 62 Yrs

Liet Dexter Mitchell co. C 8th Me. Inf

1861-65 Unmarked Grave In Florida

Directly in front of the cannon is a memorial to the unknown dead from that same conflict, donated by the Grand Army of the Republic’s Women’s Corps in 1905.

Near the rear of the cemetery, at the top of the hill, sits this beautiful tribute to Norwood’s 154 Lithuanian war veterans and the 7 who lost their lives. The monument stood outside St George’s church in South Norwood from 1949, until the church was closed in 2005 when it was moved to Highland Cemetery.

Old Parish Cemetery

Old Parish Cemetery was the original burial place for South Dedham and Norwood’s early history until Highland Cemetery was opened in 1890.

The land for old Parish was actually donated to South Dedham by veteran Capt. Ebeneezer Woodward in 1741 and many veterans are buried here, including Aaron Guild.

Norwood Memorial Airport

In 1946 the War Department in Washington gave the airport to the Town of Norwood. The facility was officially named the Norwood Memorial Airport, in memory of Norwood residents who lost their lives in World War II, but no formal dedication ceremony was performed until 2003, when Norwood’s Veteran’s Agent Ted Mulvehill rectified the oversight.

Disabled Veteran’s Memorial Park

This triangular park, bounded by Walpole St (Route 1A), Chapel Street and Berwick street, is a memorial for all Norwood’ disabled veterans.

Street Signs

For the past 20 years, plaques have been placed on corners near almost 60 fallen veteran’s homes, to recognize those Norwood residents who bravely gave their lives while serving their country.

This sign is on the corner of Railroad Ave and School st was placed to honor Horace Webber, who served in the 117th Infantry Airborne division. Horace died during the Battle of the Bulge in November 18, 1944. The family resided at 286 Railroad Ave.
Lance Corporal Richard Murphy was killed on June 15, 1968 in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. His plaque stands at the island at the intersection of Prospect St and Winter Street across from Highland Cemetery. He grew up at 193 Vernon street.

Parades

Norwood holds parades annually on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Residents from Norwood and many surrounding towns fill the parade route to thank them for their service.

United States Marines from Norwood march through South Norwood in this late 1960’s 4th of July Parade Photo.
July 4th, 2003
Memorial Day 2015

The citizens and the Town of Norwood are thankful for the service and sacrifice of our many brave veterans, and have worked hard to make sure they are never forgotten.

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