- Written by Administrator
- Published: 12 May 2009
A memorial to the soldiers from Duxbury who fought in World War I is slowly but surely moving closer to becoming a reality.
In March, voters at Town Meeting approved the use of $75,000 in Community Preservation Act funding to pay for the restoration of a monument that once stood in Boomer Square before being destroyed in an accident.
War Memorial Chairman Joe Shea found the shattered pieces of the monument while working on a booklet about Mayflower Cemetery in 2007.
â€œI was exploring, learning everything I could ... it came up that there was a pile of what appeared to be monument stones,â€ he said. â€œThe rest, they say, is history.â€
The monument listed the names of 82 veterans, including one woman who served as a nurse in France.
â€œWe are hoping if everything goes smoothly, to dedicate it on Veteranâ€™s Day in November,â€ Shea said. â€œIâ€™ve been told thatâ€™s a reasonable goal.â€
The total cost of the monument restoration will be $100,000. Shea said a fundraising effort will be launched this week to raise the additional $25,000. David Cutler of Surplus Street is the fundraising chairman. Once the group closes the funding gap, the actual construction should take 3-4 weeks.
The process of putting out a request for proposal for the restoration progress has already started. The monument group is working with Director of Inspectional Services Scott Lambiase, Shea said.
Shea said that although he only found the pieces of the monument in 2007, heâ€™s been searching for the memorial for decades. Thirty years ago, he and former fire chief Howie Blanchard went looking for the broken pieces but never found anything.
â€œI think it was just a question of just not looking in the right place,â€ he said.
Shea believes that Duxbury has a duty to honor its veterans. He said that World War I often doesnâ€™t get the attention of other conflicts.
â€œIt is moving in to the darkness of history,â€ he said. He pointed out that many other communities have memorials to World War I veterans, but Duxbury doesnâ€™t.
â€œI just feel that Duxbury, as most towns have, ought to honor its veterans,â€ he said.