Military Cannon to Remain Displayed in Seekonk After Vote - NBC10 Boston

Military Cannon to Remain Displayed in Seekonk After Vote

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    Seekonk Cannon Controversy

    Residents of Seekonk, Massachusetts, will vote on what should happen to an M114 Howitzer placed at Veterans Memorial Park.

    (Published Monday, April 2, 2018)

    There's a cannon controversy in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

    Neighbors voted Monday to keep a military canon, an M114 Howitzer, that was placed at Veterans Memorial Park next to a library.

    "It has protected veterans and that's why we wanted to put it there to honor these people," said Donald Kinniburgh, a Vietnam veteran.

    Over the course of months, some neighbors have complained about its placement.

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    (Published Friday, Oct. 18, 2019)

    "I just don't feel that a gun belongs there," said Bob Blanchard, a Korean War veteran.

    The Howitzer lasted about seven months before being taken away. Police hauled it away to their headquarters.

    The cannon's future became a question in the town's annual election. The results saw 1,225 voters, or 72 percent, selecting to return the cannon to Veterans Memorial Park, with just 484 voting to keep it removed.

    "If the people vote 'yes,' it'll stay," said David Viera, chairman of Veterans Memorial Park. "If the people vote 'no,' it'll go."

    Viera said he thought it was a "no-brainier" to add the artifact.

    "I regret the process," said Viera. "I regret the fact I didn't ask the board of library trustees first before putting it there. However, I would put it there all over again."

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    Adding to it all, a postcard was received by neighbors last week, giving them the wrong instructions on what a "no" vote means.

    "I think there are folks that are against it that wanted to trick people to vote 'no,'" said Seekonk's town moderator, Peter Hoogerzeil. "That's how I read it. Since they didn't identify themselves, to me, it seems intentional."

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