New Memorial May Soon Come to Lederman Park along the Charles River Esplanade

By Beth Treffeisen

Situated along the Charles River Esplanade, the Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Field at Lederman Park may soon get an added addition.

The Boston Landmarks Commission approved the design concept for a new memorial honoring the Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon and Navy Commander Melvin Lederman who was killed while participating in field operations during the Vietnam War.

The project that was brought forward at the October 25, hearing includes a permanent memorial and landscaped setting to commemorate Dr. Lederman and his life.

“Dr. Melvin Lederman is an American hero who dedicated his life to comforting others during their darkest of days,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy.

He continued, “The Department of Conservation and Recreation is partnering with the Lederman family to construct a monument located at the DCR’s Charles River Esplanade that will not only keep his spirit alive, but will also allow visitors to take a moment and remember the sacrifices that have been made, and continue to be made, on behalf of our great nation.”

The expected cost of the project according to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be $228,090.

The proposed monument will keep with the simplicity and clarity of other monuments along the Charles River Esplanade.

The profile will be in a silhouette, symbolizing a kneeling medical officer in field dress who has been lost in war. It will be cut from a sheet of solid, brushed stainless steel and will sit on top a granite base.

Inscribed on the monument will read, “Someone had to do the job of taking care of these kids and it is obvious that I am it. So by conscience I have been doing the best that I know how,” which is a line from a letter that Dr. Lederman wrote to a friend.

Commander Lederman participated in the Vietnam War even though he had already served in the U.S. army in the 1940’s.  He died during a medial evacuation flight in Quang Nam Province in 1969.

He earned a total of four Purple Hearts, although his last one was presented 47 years later in May of 2016 when evidence showed that his airplane was shot done from enemy fire and did not have engine failure.

According to Rosanne Foley, the executive director of Boston Landmarks the Commission has requested that the applicant, from The Cecil and Harriman Group re-visit the design of placing two straight benches and consider a curved bench instead.

Also, they would like to see granite paving and not crushed stone. Overall, the Commission would like to see a more simplified design of the paved area outline and the plantings around the memorial.

The Commission recommends trees with berm versus smaller shrubbery and ground perennials. The re-design will come back to the Commission.

The park was originally named after the famed, “Super Doc” but after the years of park use, the area eventually became run down.

In 2006, The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the DCR, the Red Sox Foundation, Hill House and the Esplanade Association worked together to create multi-use fields located at the park.

The location was renamed to the Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park in memory of the young Red Sox fan Teddy Ebersol who died in a plane crash in 2004 in Colorado. He was the son of NBC Sports head Dick Ebersol and actress Susan Saint James.

The fields are now open for youth soccer and baseball along with adult softball.

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