Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Monday, August 1, 2011
Honoring Those That Served Also Means Honoring Their Wishes
I believe it was always spoken of as The Veterans Monument. A memorial is across the street. Those that wanted the plaques removed from inside the Town Hall were quite specific about the difference between a memorial, and a monument. It may have been misspoken by some in town, but not consistently, and not by those that were involved.
It is a monument to those that served, the ones we call veterans. A Veterans Monument. It is a monument to their service. Those that view the monument acknowledge those that did serve by saying to themselves, or softly aloud, thank you.
That's the sole purpose of this Veterans Monument, to acknowledge those that served to protect us.
This is how Sturbridge chose to acknowledge their sons and daughters that served in any "era". Most may not have landed at Iwo, or fought in the Aleutians, been aboard a boat on the Mekong, invaded Iraq, or experienced frost bite during a Korean winter. Most may have served stateside, an office in Saigon, or boat yard in Quincy, yet they served. They are veterans.
I don't think any one veteran ever asked to be honored on a bronze plague. The town chose to do so.
The Town of Sturbridge chose to honor its veterans in this manner, on bronze set in stone, outside our most important building in our town. All the veterans want is to be included in the decisions regarding their monument, and above all, for their monument to be returned to where it was before the restoration of the town hall began. Where it had been for years, and years. It is just that simple
Simple requests, and ones that don't require a whole bunch of discussion concerning who served when, and where they served, and are they truly war veterans.
One more thing, your name may not be on "no monument anywhere", and you "like it that way", but your entire previous paragraph outlining just who you were in the military, where you served, and your accomplishments is a monument to your incredible service, and for that, I say, "Thank you".
Don't ever let anyone move your "monument", or take anything away from it, and above all, prevent you from sharing it. You deserve the acknowledgment, and the thanks, as do our Sturbridge veterans.