We Need Your Help!
When I took this job almost three years ago now, there was a project brewing with the Melrose Veteran Advisory Board to catalogue all the veteran memorials in the city. Simply put, a rash of bronze marker thefts left history vulnerable, a chance for the dedicated veterans monuments in the city to disappear with little stored knowledge on what the markers said and how to recreate them.
I don't know what type of person would steal a veteran marker, but I do know that each and every memorial dedicated to our heroes is special with the values of emotion, sweat and history far outweighing the costs of the stones, precious metals and carefully scripted words. They are important for the families that cherish them and the communities that hold them sacred.
It was not my idea, but I want to run with it.
The project has now extended to the entire district and we want to accomplish the following:
1.) Find and document all monuments
2.) Display the monuments in virtual museums
3.) Research the monuments and attach original documents, speeches and pictures throughout the decades
At first we wanted it to be perfect, sending out a press release welcoming the community to view a completed project. But after a few stops and starts, we believe the best approach is to involve the community and enrich the databases with information and media as we go and from many sources.
Melrose, Wakefield and Saugus will each have their own databases, virtual museums and social media attachments. We will continue to add to the collection and enhance the research value as information surfaces.
We need your help!
1.) Where are the monuments? If you have one near you or know of an obscure monument, please let us know.
2.) When were they dedicated? And for what purpose? And what person/organization lead the charge? We want original pictures, dates, original documents and pictures tracing the monuments' history through time.
You can contact us through all of our sources, but email, Facebook and Twitter work best for media sharing. But if the telephone or an office visit is your preference, we will take that too!
While documenting monuments is not as vital a mission as our day-to-day outreach within the veteran communities, we do believe remembering our history is very important. As we tell our Operation Gettysburg middle schoolers, every monument was placed for a reason and many have few friends or financial resources to keep them standing with their original honor. Finding them and documenting them is the first step.
* A special thanks to Melrose High School Teacher Lisa Lord for providing the original batch of pictures/information and Bob Driscoll and the Melrose Veterans Advisory Board for their work and inspiration.