Photo: Belmont Veterans Agent Bob Upton reading the names of each Belmont resident who died in WWI.
It was just about two dozen veterans and residents who came out on a cool, bright Sunday morning, Nov. 11 to the World War One memorial just outside of Belmont Center to mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent for the final time.
Belmont’s commemoration of the Armistice Day Centennial was likely one of the smallest and shortest in the state, if not the country. But thanks to Bob Upton, the town’s veteran agent, the Town of Homes was able to join the ceremonies around the globe to honor the young and in some cases not so young who fought and died in “the war to end all wars.”
“I’m so glad that there are people in this town that will come out for what is a truly historic remembrance,” said Upton.
The steeple bells of First Church Belmont and the United Methodist Church in Cushing Square were ready to ring out while a bell was set up in front of the memorial to record the losses Belmont bore a century ago.
At 11 a.m., on the 11th day of the 11th month, traffic was stopped along Common Street and the church bells chimed. Finally, the bell at the memorial tolled 10 times for the residents who died in combat and from illness during the war:
- Joseph Cirino
- Victor Craigie
- William Finn
- Frederick Lincoln
- Dearborn McAleer
- Hugh Nimmo
- Carleton Patriquin
- William Smith
- Leon True
In the past year, another resident, John Cormier, whose name and sacrifice was lost for nearly a century, was added to the roll of honor.
Veterans from Korea, Vietnam and the recent conflicts in the Middle East stood at attention, residents had hands over hearts in paying their respects.
And just like that, the ceremony was done. Vehicles resumed driving along Common, the bells around town were quiet and people went on with their weekend chores.