Wareham nonprofits lead the way on new monument to be built near Massachusetts National Cemetery

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 08, 2018
Courtesy of: Google Maps Five Wareham nonprofits are working to raise $45,000 to build a monument near the entrance of the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Five Wareham nonprofits have joined forces to erect a 15-foot monument honoring all veterans at the entrance of the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. On March 30, Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials gave those working on the project, which will be located on state land off Route 28, permission to move forward with plans.

“This will be for the world to see,” said Bob Powilatis, president of the Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council and American Legion Post 220 commander. “Right now, you wouldn’t know there’s a national cemetery there, but this will be a landmark.”

In addition to the Friends and local American Legion chapter, the Wareham Knights of Columbus, Wareham-New Bedford Lodge of Elks and Dudley L. Brown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post came together to spearhead the project.

Plans, which are still being drafted, call for erecting a stone obelisk, complete with an inscription and eagle statue on top, later this year. Powilatis said the idea for the monument came about after the Vietnam Moving Wall left town last summer. The wall, which attracted thousands of visitors, is a scaled-down replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

Also, Powilatis noted, next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day.

“All of us from the different organizations decided we wanted to do something special, something permanent, for the anniversary,” said Powilatis.

The groups must now raise $45,000 for the monument’s construction. Powilatis said fundraising will take place locally and across the country. Leaders at the national level from the Elks, Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have all pledged support, said Powilatis.

He also credited State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham) for helping to set up the meeting with state transportation officials and offering her support.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Just Me1 | Apr 09, 2018 07:10

Great idea! I thought the VA put up the signs, but this will be nice to see. I looked at pictures of signs at National Cemeteries (https://www.google.com/search?q=signs+at+entrances+of+national+cemeteries&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjqgLikha3aAhVDilQKHcIgBX4QsAQINg&biw=1366&bih=662#imgrc=FTNYz0tWcRx2tM:) and see there does not appear to be any standard wording, which is surprising. Some have the local name (city, town, battlefield, etc.) and a few have the state name. Good luck with the funding.

Posted by: barnstorm | Apr 10, 2018 18:41

I find it interesting that two local organizations that are both struggling big time to stay open are forging ahead to raise $45K for a monument at the entrance of a national cemetery. The American Legion is flat broke and has what........5,7 active members? You would think they would be looking to raise that money to pay their own way in a building that the town of Wareham owns and maintains. The local VFW is between $50K and $90K in the red financially and is in jeopardy of their doors closing. Everyone knows where the National Cemetery in Bourne is located. They already have a beautiful  stone wall and gold plated sign built at its entry way. Those  two local vet organizations could use that money much more than the Bourne National Cemetery getting a 15ft. obelisk, which is the idea of one man, not 5 Wareham non-profits.


Posted by: Uptohere | Apr 11, 2018 14:17

A monument is nice but why wouldnt you work to raise that money for vets in need?

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