Square to be Dedicated to Veteran Killed in WWII as Part of Watertown’s Memorial Day Week

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Along with the traditional Memorial Day Parade, Watertown will have some special events in 2024, including the dedication of a Hero Square and the celebration of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1105’s 100th anniversary.

Hero Square

On Monday, May 20 at 2 p.m., the intersection of Bigelow and Nichols avenues will be dedicated to Vincent Ranucci, who was Killed in Action during World War II.

Ranucci attended the Watertown schools and joined the U.S. Army in June of 1942. He was deployed in the European Theatre. On February 2, 1944 he was awarded the Purple Heart for the wounds received in action resulting in his death. Private Ranucci is buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy, according to the proclamation approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

Watertown Veterans Agent Patrick George said that as many as 30 of Ranucci’s family members will attend the ceremony.

Memorial Day Parade

Watertown’s Memorial Day Parade begins at noon on Monday, May 27. It starts at City Hall, heads west on Main Street, turns onto Waverley Avenue, and then onto Orchard Street. The procession will end at Victory Field, where a ceremony will take place, including the dedication of a POW/MIA Chair, which will be installed at Victory Field.

Watertown Memorial Day Parade Route

Parade participants are encouraged to begin staging by 10:30 a.m. in the City Hall and Watertown Free Public Library parking lot, located behind the Library at 123 Main St., Watertown.

Memorial Day Week Events

Several events will take place in the days leading up to Memorial Day.

On May 22 at 5 p.m., flags will be placed on the graves of veterans at Ridgelawn Cemetery and Saint Patrick’s Cemetery. Volunteers will be needed and may meet at either cemetery. For more information email pgeorge@watertown-ma.gov or call 617-972-6416.

Multiple events will take place on Friday, May 24. Watertown veterans will appear at assemblies at Watertown Middle School for both the Middle School and the High School. Following that at Hosmer Elementary School. The WHS and WMS assembly starts at 8:30 a.m.

The 2024 Poppy Social will take place at the Commander’s Mansion, 440 Talcott Ave., Watertown, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and features an open house, light refreshments, and a guided tour of the mansion which will take place at 11 a.m. Also view the Freedom Garden. Visit www.commandersmansion.com for more information.

The Burnham-Manning Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1105 will Celebrate its Centennial Anniversary on May 24.  The Post is named for two Watertown residents killed in World War I — Harold Burnham and John J. Manning.

The VFW Post 1105 100th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Friday, May 24 at 215 Mt. Auburn St. in Watertown. There will be live music, an open house with h’ors deuovres and cash bar from 1600 to 2000 (4-8 p.m.), a buffet dinner 1700 (5 p.m.) and ceremony and remarks at 1800 (6 p.m.) See more about VFW Post 1105 here.

On Sunday, May 26, a rolling procession to visit veteran memorials around Watertown will take place starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Pvt Shutt Detachment, 215 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown.

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