Press release from Concord’s 2025 Executive Committee:

April 19, 2025, marks the 250th anniversary of the historic battles of Concord and Lexington, a tumultuous event that began a revolution still heard around the world. As the nation prepares to celebrate a quarter of a millennium since its birth, Concord understands all eyes will turn to this small town as the 250th approaches. Presidents have attended past milestone celebrations, and it can assuredly be expected that dignitaries from across the United States – and indeed, from around the world – would want to be here in 2025. This unique opportunity to share the story of Concord – its past, present, and its future – with the world will not repeat itself in our lifetimes. In anticipation of this pivotal anniversary, Concord’s Select Board charged member Henry Dane, to gather and chair an Executive Committee to organize Concord for the celebration of a truly momentous event in the history of our nation.

Under Mr. Dane’s leadership, several important steps have been taken. He has drawn together a 12-person Executive Committee, coordinated with Lexington’s celebration committee, engaged Simone Monteleone (the Superintendent of Minute Man National Historical Park) in all deliberations, and led a series of organizing committee meetings. Each member of the Executive Committee will, in turn, lead an area of specific focus for the upcoming commemoration, and, when appropriate, create subcommittees to support their work.

The Executive Committee members, and their assignments are: Henry Dane, Chair; Di Clymer, Arts, Literature and Music; Diane Proctor, Communications and Publicity; John Arena, Event Planning; Richard Loughlin, Finance; David Wood, History and Education; Patricia Hopkins, Hospitality and Invitations; Fred Ryan, Public Safety; Gary Clayton, Permanent Memorial; Holly Cratsley, Community Participation; Polly Reeve, At-Large; and Robert Munroe, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition to the work of these committees, the Town Manager, Kerry Lafleur, will ensure appropriate staff support to advance each subcommittee’s work.

Each meeting of the Executive Committee and the respective subcommittees must comply with the Open Meeting Law (OML), the Public Records Law, the Conflict-of-Interest Law, and all other laws and regulations of the Commonwealth, as well as all relevant Bylaws and Administrative Policies of the Town. Thus, every meeting will be announced in advance (on the Town’s calendar) and will be held in a public space, with publicly posted meeting agendas and minutes. Given the number of citizens participating in committee-related activities, a provision was approved allowing citizens–already serving on other Town committees–to participate in this endeavor and to include, where appropriate, individuals with specific expertise who live outside the Concord community.

In anticipation of multiple events, spanning several months or years, the Executive Committee will coordinate and publicize all activities with the intention of broadly engaging the citizens of Concord and others in the exciting celebration of the 250th anniversary of the commencement of the American Revolution and its continued relevance today. For, as Henry Dane has noted, “The importance of recognizing the value of our Republic could not be more important than it is right now.

As we explore, understand, and share the fascinating dimensions of Concord’s history, the Executive Committee anticipates local, national, and international attention to the events in 2025. Our town’s celebration will represent not only our diverse history but also recognize our ongoing insistence that democracy, even when messy, is worth sustaining. As we look forward to 2026 and the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Concord’s commemoration will also honor the continued efforts and sacrifices of Americans over the past 250 years to “form a more perfect union.”

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