Belmont unveils memorial bench to celebrate veterans


Justin Som

Retired Navy Capt. Randall Ramian and former Belmont Mayor Eric Reed were the first to sit on the new memorial bench.

Justin Som, Staff Writer

For years, Belmont citizens have wanted to thank veterans for their service. On Nov. 10, their answer came in the form of a veterans memorial bench unveiled by the city in Twin Pines Park.

Hidden amongst the trees, the concrete S-shaped bench has the words, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” engraved into the front exterior and is decorated with specially designed seals on the opposite side to honor the different military branches.

The opening of the ceremony was marked by the sound of bagpipes from Lynne Miller along with the marching of Boy Scout Troop 301 and the Belmont Police Dept.’s Color Guard.

“I think it’s important to honor our veterans because they’ve done so much to serve our country,” said sophomore Erek Leschym, who is a member of Boy Scout Troop 301. “They have sacrificed a lot and, in the process, have altered their lives to protect the rights and liberties of the people who are currently living here and those in the future.”

According to former Belmont mayor Eric Reed, it took two years to get the memorial from idea to reality. Reed was first inspired to create the monument after he went to a Vietnam War memorial and met the mother of Belmont resident and veteran, Lars Sundell.

“That is when I got the idea that I really need to do something for people like her who have lost somebody that fought on our behalf,” said Reed. “For generations to come, [the memorial] will be Belmont’s response to veterans who have fought in a foreign war or died and gave everything they have.”

To create the monument, community members formed a committee to handle all of the necessities for creating the approximately 65,000-pound S-shaped bench. City clerk Terri Cook, who acted as the staff liaison project manager with the memorial committee, determined that the best location for the memorial would be in Twin Pines Park for the amount of exposure that it would get. Anne Hoffman, a landscape architect, then came up with the design for the memorial.

Cook said, “We’re just happy that there’s something here so that people can now give some recognition to veterans. We made it out of concrete instead of wood so that [the memorial bench] will be strong like our military, and it’s built in an S-shape so that it hugs you.”

Likewise, retired Navy Capt. Randall Ramian was glad that Belmont finally gained its own veterans memorial. He then proceeded to thank the city for its part in making the commemoration a reality.

“I have proudly served for 29 years in service. It is important to remember their sacrifice to protect us; there is no greater honor. This memorial here is a fitting dedication to [the veterans] and all of their families,” said Ramian.

Following their remarks, Ramian and Reed then proceeded to open the memorial, which finally allowed for park goers and those with military connections to contemplate and thank the veterans for their service.

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