Memorial Day events began in Melrose on Tuesday with the installation of a special Civil War Tribute honoring the soldiers, sailors and marines who gave their lives to preserve the Union.
Housed at Memorial Hall, Melrose's largest Civil War monument, the tribute features 620 uniform grave flags, 1 for every 10 Massachusetts soldiers who gave their lives or 1 for every 1000 soldiers nationally killed during the American Civil War.
The lives lost in the Civil War are staggering. During Operation Gettysburg, a joint venture with the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, we taught out 14 eighth-graders that it is the job of the current generations to remember the sacrifices made by those who came before us. The group took the mission to heart on Tuesday, placing flags in time for the Memorial Day events throughout the nation this weekend.
Funds for all projects came directly from Operation Gettysburg efforts to honor the Civil War and visit the historic National Battlefield with Melrose veteran two weeks ago. A true community effort, the restoration projects included middle school students, high school students, local businesses, city staff, the veterans advisory board, Eagle Scout candidate Jonathon Havey, Boy Scout Troop 635 and the hundreds of donators citywide.