The city held a dedication ceremony unveiling the new flagpoles and monument outside the Beachmont Veterans Memorial School and raising the American flag and POW-MIA flags that will forever wave at the site.
Ira Novoselsky and Al Terminiello Jr., co-chairs of the Revere Veterans Committee for the past 15 years, organized the ceremony after leading the fundraising effort for the new flagpoles.
“The two flagpoles form the centerpiece of a memorial dedicated to veterans at the corner of Bennington and Everard Street,” said Novoselsky, the Ward 2 councillor. “The poles make the flags more prominent on the [school] property and this is a way honor our nation and at the same time give back to the community.”
Novoselsky said he and Terminiello had conducted several fundraisers through the years, in coordination with the Jewish War Veterans Post 161 and American Legion Post 61, to pay for the new flagpoles.
Mayor Brian Arrigo began the speaking portion of the ceremony that was attended by city and school officials along with staff and students at the Beachmont School and Seacoast Academy.
“Today we dedicate a site that adds a prominent public memorial and perfectly complements the name of the school behind it: the Beachmont Veterans Memorial School,” said Arrigo, who extend the city’s gratitude to Novoselsky and Tereminiello for their leadership of the project.
“These flags now adorn a proper landmark that demonstrates the City of Revere’s respect for the men and women who have protected our nation, and all that is stands for, in military service,” said Arrigo. “From this day forward, this corner of Everard Street and Bennington Street will be a place of tribute and remembrance – and out appreciation for our veterans will be fully on display here, and in the name of the school.”
Dr. Dianne Kelly, superintendent of Revere schools, said the dedication ceremony was especially meaningful to here “because I have one brother who is a veteran of the United States Air Force and another who is a former Marine and current active duty member of the Army Special Forces.”
Kelly said it was not until her brothers came of age in the military that she truly understood how important it is for everyone to intentionally honor both fallen heroes and veterans.
“And I fear that too many young people grow up with the same lack of understanding that I did,” said Kelly. “This is why we endeavor in the school department to make our students aware through participation in ceremonies like this and others for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day ceremonies at the elementary level; through civics programs at the middle and high schools; and through participation in community service projects.”
The superintendent closed her remarks with one of her brother’s favorite quotes “which he taught me years ago and is attributed to Cicero: “Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.”
Novoselsky called to the podium his fellow committee co-chair, Terminiello, “a man who loves the veterans and does everything he can for the veterans, and a beneficial guy for the city of Revere.”
Terminello was humbled by the recognition from his colleague and the people in attendance.
“You don’t know what an honor it is for me to be here today – to see these flagpoles put up here for our veterans,” said Terminiello. “We worked very hard for this. It took a long time to raise the money but thanks to the generosity of everybody around here for the citizens of Revere, the city officials who helped donate the money, the flags, and their time – the Mercurio Brothers (landscaping), the Slotnicks (monument) – it took a lot.”
Terminiello said he appreciated how the city of Revere honors its veterans and the programs it provides for them.
Seeing the students wearing red, white, and blue hats, Terminiello said, “We do not kneel for the American flag in Revere and we never will. I’m very proud to say I am the grandfather of a U.S. Navy corpsman who has been serving in the Navy for six years. I take much pride in being here and being able to be part of such a momentous occasion.”
Terminiello thanked Mayor Arrigo and Supt. Kelly and “everyone who helped make this possible so we could make this memorial a permanent place to honor our veterans and those who served the United States of America.”
Terminiello and Novoselsky strode proudly to the site of the memorial where they led the Beachmont School students in the official flag-raising ceremony.