The Rotary Club of Concord invites the public to the Dedication Ceremony of the USS Concord Bell’s Installation and the rejuvenation of the Veterans’ Memorial in Concord Center at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2016. The project was conceived by the Rotary Club over 15 years ago, revived in 2012, and now, with the generous support of the Town of Concord Community Preservation Fund and help from many experts, donors and volunteers, has finally become a reality.
The USS Concord was an Omaha Class light cruiser serving in the North and South Pacific during World War II. While Concord has the distinction of firing the first shot of the Revolutionary War, the USS Concord has the distinction of firing the last shot of World War II in the Sea of Okhotsk on August 15, 1945.  The casualties of that conflict are memorialized on Concord’s Common.
The USS Concord was launched in 1921. Pleased that the US Navy was naming a vessel “Concord”, a consortium of Concord citizens commissioned sculptor Daniel Chester French to create a reduced-sized version of his statue, “Concord Minuteman of 1775” for the ship. The smaller adaptation is now at the Concord Museum. The Bell itself, presented to the Town of Concord in 1947, first resided at the Concord Free Public Library. It was then moved to the basement of the Town House in 2003 where it remained virtually unseen until the present. 
Along with the placement of the Bell, the Veterans’ Memorial area has been landscaped, with new plantings, walkways, flags, and lighting, designed by Architect Elena M. Pascarella of Landscape Elements LLC.  Over the years, Rotarians Henry Dane and Dick Hale have spearheaded the effort, with a recent boost from Rotarian Doug Detweiler and a committee of Rotarians, veterans, and interested citizens. Town residents approved Community Preservation Act funding of $50,000 to support the project at Town Meeting in April of 2016.
Please join in the dedication of this important focal point of Concord’s role in our nation’s history.  A reception at the Colonial Inn will follow the ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial site in Concord Center.