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Group’s dwindling numbers put veterans events at risk

Concord Monitor - 5/15/2017

Monitor staff

The membership of a long-standing group of Concord veterans, which is responsible for prominent Memorial Day festivities, has dwindled to almost nothing.

For 50 years, the Concord Veterans Council has organized events such as the Memorial Day parade on Main Street, the flags placed at veterans’ graves in May and a Veterans Day ceremony, President Paul Lloyd said.

But now those events may be in jeopardy for lack of volunteers.

“Supposedly we’re made up from the veterans organizations in Concord. Years ago everybody had a representative that showed up and helped out. We had a president, secretary and treasurer,” Lloyd said.

“Well, the last few years, that’s all we’ve had is a president, secretary and treasurer.”

Lloyd, who has been president for eight years, said although they’ve been able to get the Memorial Day parade and flags together this year, he’s worried about the future.

“I’m stepping down after Memorial Day because I’ve just got so much other stuff going on that I can’t devote the time to it that I need to,” he said, adding, “and the other two have gotten older and slowed down because of age.”

Lloyd said the veterans council receives $5,000 a year from the city to put on its events. But the council needs manpower, too, he said.

Lloyd is hoping that Concord’s veterans – or anyone else who is willing to help – will reach out to him to keep the signature ceremonies running.

“It’s a lot of work for one or two people, and we reached out last month to see if we could get some help and volunteers to come in” from the VFW and American Legion, he said. “At our organizing meeting, we didn’t get anybody to show up.”

He added: “I’m not sure that the general public knows that the ceremonies are actually put on by volunteers and not part of Main Street or part of the city of Concord ... but it’s just volunteers out there trying to put this all together – we just need some help.”

Lloyd can be reached at 715-5431 or pjl64@comcast.net.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)

 
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