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Museum honors Veterans Day with history lessons

DEVENS — For years Ayer Public Schools welcomed the opportunity to educate the children of soldiers assigned to Fort Devens along with children from the town itself. Both sets of young people benefitted from being brought together, and they got along well with each other. For several months in 1983, the Army base actually became the home of Ayer High School when the school had to vacate its building on upper Washington Street for the removal of asbestos.

Eager to tell the story of the school’s use of barracks buildings and a small gymnasium on Fort Devens is Don Parker, Ayer High School Principal at the time. Joining him to present this program will be Fort Devens Museum Board of Directors member David King of Lunenburg. King was then serving as the Fort Devens liaison officer with the Ayer School Committee, and was involved in having Fort Devens authorities extend the invitation for use of quarters on base.

This presentation at 11 a.m. will be the first of three at the Fort Devens Museum’s Open House on Saturday November 8. The following two programs will focus on the African American WAC (Women’s Army Corps) detachment strike at Fort Devens in 1945 (12:30 PM) and stories and experiences from the Battle of the Bulge (2:00 PM) which will be 70 years old in December.

In addition to these presentations, visitors may view exhibits that chronicle the history of Camp and Fort Devens and the roles its men and women played overseas and on the home front. The Open House will take place from 10 AM to 4 PM and is free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated. Refreshments will be served and a variety of prizes will be raffled off at the end of the day.

The Fort Devens Museum is located on the third-floor at 94 Jackson Road, Devens. The building is wheelchair accessible. For information about this event, call 978-772-1286 or email

Bring friends, family and memories to enjoy this day of honoring and celebrating our veterans and the unique history of Devens.

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