What’s Open, Closed On Veterans Day In Belmont

Photo: Veterans saluting the raising of the flag of the country.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

What’s Closed:

  • Belmont Town offices and Belmont Light are closed. 
  • US Postal Service offices and regular deliveries.
  • Banks; although some branches will be open in some supermarkets.

MBTA: Operating on its regular weekday schedule. See www.mbta.com for details.

What’s Opened:

• Retail stores

• Coffee shops; Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are serving coffee

• Supermarkets

• Convenience and drug stores (CVS) open regular hours

• Establishments that sell beer and wine are also allowed to be open.

Veterans’ Day Exercise Schedule at Belmont Public Schools

Photo: Belmont veterans.

The Belmont Public Schools will be holding its annual Veterans’ Day exercises on Thursday, Nov. 10 with visits by Belmont and area residents who have served their country to town schools. 

Thursday’s schedule:

  • 8:45 a.m.: Continental breakfast at Chenery Middle School. 95 Washington St.
  • 9 a.m.: Program at Chenery Middle School
  • 9:45 a.m.: Butler Elementary School program.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Wellington Elementary School program.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Luncheon at VFW Post, 310 Trapelo Rd., sponsored by Bob Upton, the town’s Veterans’ Services Officer. 

Duty, Honor, Country: Schools Salute Vets in Remembrance Observances

The Chenery Middle School Wind Band played patriotic music, the chorus sang the “National Anthem” and several students made speeches and recited poems to their classmates and the two dozen men – many slowed with age – sitting on chairs on the side of the stage.

They were an array of armed forces veterans from Belmont and surrounding communities, coming to the school as the living embodiment of the commitment and sacrifice they gave to the country.

The school-wide assembly, held on Monday, Nov. 10 in the Chenery auditorium, is an annual commemoration of the service of all veterans and those currently in uniform.

“I want to thank all of you for showing up today because twice a year, we feel like rock stars,” said Kip Gaudet, commander of Belmont’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Trapelo Road.

“We come here to represent those who can’t be here, who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that we enjoy today,” said Gaudet, who was awarded a bronze star for “heroic or meritorious achievement or service” as a radio man in Vietnam.

Chenery’s Principal Kristen StGeorge advised students to take a moment on the holiday to personally reach out and thank a veteran “for their contribution … for fighting for things that are important to us and our country.”

St. George read the names of veterans with a connection to the “Chenery community” and for the student to simply “listen and to reflect.” Included in the names were of Chenery teacher Ryan Schmitt and Army Spc. Jonathan Curtis, an alumni who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

Gaudet read the names of the veterans who stood to receive the applause from the auditorium, including Frank Morrissey, a 96-year-old vet from the US Navy.

“Hopefully these events reminds the students of freedom’s cost,” said Gaudet after the service, before leaving with his fellow veterans for visits at the Butler and Winn Brook elementary schools before a lunch at the VFW post.

“The veterans get appreciated for their service and the kids learn something, so this morning is like a two-way street,” he said.

The highlight of the ceremony was the reading and a musical rendition of the poem, “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae who wrote the poem on May 3, 1915, moments after presiding over the funeral of his friend, Alexis Helmer.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.”