In honor of those who have served and continue to serve the country after September 11th, 2001, the City of Quincy has renovated a home using federal and state funds to accommodate a veteran and their family.
Eleven years ago, the United States was shaken after a day of tragedy but rather than solely reflecting on the lives that were lost, Quincy designated a home on Empire Street as veterans housing for a single family.
What was a one-level, two bedroom home is now a two-level, four bedroom home. The President of Neighborhood Housing Services who helped generate funding for the project, Norman Grenier, says the first floor of the home has been redesigned to be handicap friendly, “You know if the veteran is handicapped we are totally prepared. We raised the second level of this building and added bedrooms because when you take a handicap bathroom you have to take up a lot of space, it has to be a large door, [and] have a bath you can wheel a wheelchair in.”
But during the dedication ceremony Tuesday morning, Hank Bradley, who is the former Director of Veterans’ Services in Quincy, reminded the audience that the new home won’t erase past memories for a veteran.
“This house here, this won’t less then war that the individual who goes in here, whether it be a woman or man veteran, the war will still be in the back of their mind but hopefully this will show them that there is a little light at the end of the tunnel,” says Bradley
Senator Scott Brown’s wife, Gail Huff, also spoke at the dedication and commended the city for turning a tragic event into a hopeful future for a returning veteran, “I had several people ask me in Boston today, ‘Is it time to let it go?’ We have to remember what happened. It’ll never be time to let go of those memories. It’s time to move on and that’s what this is about. We are moving on, watching out for the veterans who are coming back, taking care of them. You guys are an example, a model for the rest of the state and country.”
According to Huff, 203 people with ties to Massachusetts died as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.
The veteran who will move into the home has not been chosen yet. Quincy is waiting for an occupancy permit but Grenier says the city’s Veterans’ Agent will soon select a family.
51 Empire Street, Quincy
Mayor of Quincy, Tom Koch
Gail Huff presenting a flag to Quincy