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A monumental move in Peabody

ITEM PHOTO BY ADAM SWIFT
This monument will be relocated.

By ADAM SWIFT

PEABODY — A monument honoring the city’s women veterans will soon take its place next to three memorials in front of City Hall recognizing male veterans.

“I recently notified the City Council that the Women Veterans monument would be relocated to an adjacent area of City Hall grounds where all other veterans are recognized and honored per the council’s unanimous request,” said Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. “The plan is for the monument to be in its new location for our annual Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall.”

Last year, Councilor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin proposed moving the existing monument in front of City Hall to the opposite side of the building, next to the three monuments honoring those who died in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

“When we have ceremonies, it is noticeable that the (women’s monument) is over to the left side,” said Manning-Martin when the original motion was made. “I want it to be more inclusive.”

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Although the council unanimously approved the monumental move last year, the request wasn’t without controversy.

At a council Human Service Committee meeting last year, then veterans’ agent Christopher Tighe read from a letter that said the Peabody Veterans’ Council “strongly oppose any attempt to relocate the monument from the current location of honor in front of city hall.”

While the letter did not specify any specific reason for the opposition, Tighe said the dividing line between the monuments is because those on the right honor Peabody veterans killed in action, while the women’s monument honors females who served in the military.

But Manning-Martin, and several other councilors said Tighe’s reasons to keep the monument where it was were insufficient.

Shortly after the monument dustup, Bettencourt fired Tighe as veterans agent, although no official reason for letting him go was ever given.

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