How to Unveil a Plaque

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Whether it is to mark a historic event or site, a special occasion or a major achievement, a plaque is a symbol of distinction. In many cases, an entire celebration is built around the unveiling of a plaque. Generally, people who have had some part in financing, designing and/or administering the creation of the plaque, as well as people who were involved with the event or location it marks, are invited to the plaque's unveiling. Members of the general public might also be at hand. Unveiling a plaque can be simple or ceremonious.

Carefully chosen remarks from key figures are de rigueur.

1 Prepare some remarks beforehand

Prepare some remarks beforehand. If you are heading the unveiling ceremony, you may elect to make remarks of your own. You might also solicit speeches from those who conceived of the plaque and those who administered or financed its completion.

Live music can enhance the occasion.

2 Whether the occasion is festive or somber

Whether the occasion is festive or somber, carefully chosen live or taped musical selections can inestimably enhance the event. You can choose a string quartet, a solo pianist, a gospel choir or a rock band, depending on the mood of the occasion.

3 Remove the veil from the plaque

Remove the veil from the plaque. If the occasion is full of pomp, a decided flourish -- a grand downward motion of the hand that results in a dramatic sweep of the fabric -- is in order. For more modest appeal, simply lift the fabric from the plaque.

4 Take pride in the response

Take pride in the response. Generally, the unveiling of a plaque results in approving sounds and gestures -- even applause -- from those in attendance. If you have had a major part in bringing the plaque to realization -- or just in organizing the celebration -- enjoy the warm reception.

D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.