Wellesley recently appointed Joe Oliveri as its Veterans’ Graves & Ceremonial Officer, and to say he’s qualified for the position would be an understatement.
The U.S. Marine Corps veteran returned to his grandparents’ house in Wellesley while attending college after serving 2 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2002-2006. Now Oliveri is serving the town by working for veterans and organizing ceremonies within the town such as for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day.
“Wellesley has a very large veteran population believe it or not and unfortunately many are passing away and many are trying to find support as they get into their older years,” says Oliveri, who works as a sales rep selling cloud offerings for Oracle and is in his 10th year coaching youth hockey. “Last count we had was about 800-plus. We are trying to actively support those and honor those who have passed away or have relatives in town as an honorable showing of support for their services and sacrifices.”
As the Veterans’ Graves & Ceremonial Officer, Oliveri says he is looking to spread the word about events online in addition to via more traditional posters and banners. He wants to be a resource as well for families looking to have military ceremonies at wakes and funerals.
One big upcoming event, a Dressing of the Graves, will take place on May 8 at Woodlawn Cemetery at 5pm (rain date: May 9). Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other volunteers will replace old flags with new flags and medallions at the cemetery for all deceased veterans. (More here from the Townsman on an Eagle Scout project to identify veterans’ graves.)
The annual veterans’ Memorial Day ceremonies will be held on May 30 at 7pm at Woodlawn Cemetery, and at 7:30pm in front of the War Memorial on Washington St., in front of Town Hall. If it’s raining that day, the ceremony will be moved to Wellesley Middle School at 7pm.
Joe Oliveri can be reached by phone at (774) 292-9932 or by email at [email protected]