Category Archives: memorials

911 Memorial Park (Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 3, 2018

Location: Union Avenue & North Elm Street

Parking: There are several parking lots (free of charge) in the area and some street parking nearby as well.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: 20′ high obelisk memorial to the victims of 9/11 who were natives of Westfield, MA

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They weren’t just bond traders, planning managers and vp’s.  They were sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and friends.  They were so much more than just a title or their professional achievements.

The 911 memorial at 911 Memorial Park is a somber reminder of the three people from Westfield, MA, and all of the people who were lost that day.

The park is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  The .05 acre park in Westfield, MA, serves to remind Westfield residents and anyone who visits the sacrifice and loss suffered on September 11, 2001. It was dedicated on September 11, 2011, ten years after the attacks.

The memorial is located on an island in the middle of a busy section of the city.  If you do visit, please take notice of this.  There are working traffic lights near the memorial.  Lights are installed in the ground to illuminate the area during the evening, or on overcast days.

The three people who died on that day had so much going for them and had achieved so much in such little time.  But, they were known for more than just their professional achievements.

Tara K Creamer (Shea) had graduated from UMASS Amherst and had a successful career as a planning manager at TJ Maxx.  But, she was more known for her radiant smile.

A bond trader and former draft pick of the Boston Celtics, Daniel Trant was known more for being a family man who loved playing sports with his children.

Brian Joseph Murphy worked as an electronic bond trader.  But, it was being a doting father and husband that he was most proud of.  One of the last things he did with “his girls” was apple picking.

As I took the photos for this memorial, I couldn’t help but think of just how bright blue and clear the skies were.  Much like they were on that day 17 years ago.

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The inscription on the bronze plaque states:

9-11 MEMORIAM
TO INNOCENCE LOST

TARA KATHLEEN CREAMER
FLIGHT 11
NOV. 30, 1970 – SEPT. 11, 2001

BRIAN JOSEPH MURPHY
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MARCH 21, 1960 – SEPT. 11, 2001

DANIEL PATRICK TRANT
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MAY 15, 1961 – SEPT. 11, 2001

I couldn’t find any information concerning the sculptor(s) or what material the memorial is made of.  In a way, this is refreshing.  The emphasis should be on the people and the memories their loved ones have of them.  As it should be on this day.

 


Veterans Mall (Greenfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 14, 2017

Location: Main St, Greenfield, MA (next to the Town Hall Annex at 253 Main St) (45 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a good amount of metered street parking near the memorial park

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: memorials, mural, sculptures

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It would be easy to miss the grand memorial at Veterans Memorial.   Couched in between the busy downtown business district, the memorial is almost an after thought, if you’re not expecting to see it.  I had to make a quick stop and scramble for parking at the last moment as I had already driven by it when my passenger brought it to my attention.

Located in the bustling Main St in downtown Greenfield, Veterans Mall is truly a hidden gem.Tucked away between the various retailers in the busy business district, Veterans Mall includes a mural and numerous war and veteran memorials.

The mural located at Veterans Mall includes images and symbols of Greenfield and the surrounding area such as Poets Tower and Greenfield Covered Bridge.

 

 

One of the cool aspects of the mural are the symbols around the border and in the mural that are indicative of the area such as the corn that is planted and farmed at the local farms.  There are also symbols that are common in any area across the area, the crazy weather we have(symbolized by the wind blowing its cold air) and symbols that are common across the nation such as children trick-or-treating.

 

The mural was repainted April 28, 2017 after 27 years.  Below is a photo of what it looked like before it was painted over.

See the source image

As if this wasn’t enough, there are several other war memorials at Veterans Mall.

This monument, dedicated to the people of Greenfield who served their country during the Vietnam War, has the name of every person from Greenfield who was killed in this war.  It’s hard not to tear up or take a deep breath while reading all of those names.  It will stop you cold and ground you to see the list of all of those lives cut short.

 

 

The Greenfield War Memorial, sculpted by Homer Gunn in 1965, sits in the center of the memorial park. The sculpture is meant to give a message of peace

Apparently, it also acts as a home for some of the residents of the area.

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A lot has changed since these memorials were first installed in the area.  Below is a photo of the two memorials from an earlier time, presumably when it was first dedicated over some 50 years ago.

War Memorial Greenfield Massachusetts

The memorial located next to the Vietnam War Memorial is a memorial to the veterans of World War I

Where there was once a pool of water stands a pine tree dedicated to the all of the women veterans of all wars.

Directly across from the War Memorial is another memorial by Homer Gunn.  This serpentine memorial is meant to chronicle the history of warfare during the 20th century. The memorial shows soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines in an array of different activities and using a variety of different weapons, machines and vehicles from different eras.  There are also shapes of geographic regions where they fought.

 

The park is a wonderful destination for all, even four legged visitors.  Watson is a 12 year old mixed breed rescue.

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Agawam Fire Department’s September 11 Memorial (Agawam, MA)

Date Visited: September 9, 2016

Location: Agawam Fire Dept Headquarters, 800 Main St, Agawam, MA

Parking:  There is a parking area for 5 or 6 cars next to the memorial area and off street parking available nearby

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day

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Dedicated on the first anniversary of the attacks, the Agawam Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial is constructed of two granite blocks.  It is evident that much care and attention to detail was taken in the construction of the memorial.  The towers are spaced accurately with 1 World Trade Center to the left and in front of 2 World Trade Center.  Two benches (one on each side of the towers), more like slabs of concrete, are positioned at the memorial.  it is a place for reflection and peaceful relaxation.  Like all memorials at all of the other fire departments, it is both tasteful and emotional.

A plaque lies at the base of the memorial.

 

Engraved on the plaque is:

TOWN OF AGAWAM

SEPTEMBER 11TH 2001 MEMORIAL

LET IT BE KNOWN TO THE WORLD

UNITED WE STAND

ONE NATION UNDER GOD

FOR LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Being from the Boston area and having ties to New York, I know people who were affected on September 11 and I have a personal connection to this day as well.  It is bittersweet to see such beautiful remembrance for such a tragic day.

Normally, I would photograph a memorial closer to my hometown of Boston.  But, since my parents and sister moved to Western Mass it has been like a second home to me.  I’ve spent many holidays, birthdays, vacations and weekends here so it only seems fitting I would spend a special, yet somber, day here to be with my family.

A sign at the flower bed reminds us what is important to remember on this and all days.

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American Legion Park (Feeding Hills, MA)

Date Visited: July 3, 2016

Location: 478 Springfield St, Feeding Hills (Agawam), MA

Hours: Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Time To Allot For Visit: 5-10 minutes

Parking: While there is no designated parking area for the park there is plenty of parking available at the American Legion Post located behind the park and parking is available at the strip mall across the street

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: sculpture, tank, memorial, well manicured grounds

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I don’t know about you but I’m really stoked to see that Judas Priest cover band.

But the real attraction on Springfield St in Feeding Hills (a territory in Agawam, MA), is the tank and Freedom Eagle sculpture located in front of “The Tank” American Legion Post 185.  The Tank is an eatery/event venue servicing veterans.

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DSC_1028The tank is a M-60 tank monument dedicated to all veterans (past, present and future)

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Donated in 2005, the Freedom Eagle shows an eagle soaring through the air, fish clutched tightly in his or her grip

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There is also a memorial from the town of Agawam in remembrance of the people who served during World War I.

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Although it is a small park there is a lot to take in and it certainly makes you proud and grateful.

The area is also a common spot for dog walkers.  Across the street, we saw a group of four big dogs being walked.  This is a group of Bernese Mountain Dogs.  The dogs go to the local senior center and  visit Alzheimer’s patients as therapy dogs.

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From left to right: Roma, Tony and Lena (one of the other dogs was a bit camera shy).

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Fort Taber/Fort Rodman Park (New Bedford, MA)

Date Visited: June 11, 2016

Location: 1000 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA

Parking: There are about 70-100 spots or so in the park itself but plenty of off street parking as well.

Cost: Free

Hours: Dawn until dusk
Dog Friendly: It sure is!

Highlights: forts, lighthouse, jetty, beach, war memorials, walking trails, playground with slides and swings for children (or adults if you’re so inclined), military museum, war reenactments, pretty views

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The highlight of the park for most visitors has to be the jetty.  Fishing off the jetty, or anywhere else at the park is allowed.  But, they have a strict “catch and release” policy because most of the fish are contaminated with PCB (poly-chlorinated bipenyls).  So, they would not be safe to eat.  PCB’s are known cancer causing toxins.  The New Bedford Harbor is lined with these cancer-causing toxins that were released into the harbor between 1938 and 1973 by factories such as the electrical component manufacturer Aerovox.  The harbor is in the process of being cleaned.  But, it could take many more years before the job is complete.

Seashells and seaweed were scattered along the bridge, evidence of some recent stormy seas.

There are so many beautiful views and interesting things at Fort Taber Park.  The lighthouse in the photos is the

Since New Bedford has been known for its whaling and seafaring history, the park (and all of New Bedford) is also known for its lighthouses.  In the background of  the fort in the photo below you can see Clarks Point Lighthouse, first originally built in 1797 (it was replaced with a stone tower in 1804).

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The lighthouse below is the Butler Flats Lighthouse, originally built in 1898.

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There are several war memorials dedicated to the men and women of Fall River who have served their country, with a specific emphasis on those who were killed in action.

The memorial below is a Vietnam War Memorial that really stood out to me.  If you look closely at the board in the final photo, you can see photos of the service people from New Bedford who were killed in the war.   Everything about this memorial has meaning.  The 43 stars on the memorial represent all of the 43 people from New Bedford who died in Vietnam.  The outline of Vietnam is in orange as a reference to Agent Orange who died from Agent Orange.  Even the service ribbons on the memorial have meaning.  The blue ribbon represents the National Defense Ribbon which is representative of everyone who served in Vietnam.  The other two ribbons represent in country veterans.  The two plants at the memorial signify life.

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There are also several memorials to all of the 20th century wars America has been in, although I did not notice any memorials for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  I am assuming this may be because those actions are still not officially over even if we have pulled out most of our military presence in those places.

A tribute does stand for Army Staff Sargent Joseph Camara of New Bedford, MA, who was killed in action on September 1, 2003 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom  when the humvee he was traveling in hit a land mine.  He was serving with the 115th Military Police Company as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard in the Iraq War.  He was 40 years old when he died.  He was also a member of the New Bedford Police Department.  His memorial is located at the bottom of the gallery below.

There is also a replica of a Sherman tank stands as a tribute to the LST amphibious force T-4 who lost their lives in training for the invasion on D-Day.  During the training exercises, sadly, many men lost their lives training for the invasion.

While I was visiting it was 17th century drill day.  Reenactors from the Dartmouth militia, in full 17th century garb, showed how weapons were used, described the different types of warfare of the day and answered any questions the public had.

The staff also allowed visitors inside Fort Taber.  The guide explained they stopped using this Civil War fort once the ballistics that were used became too effective against the barricades of the fort.

Grass and rust had overtaken what was once a formidable fortification.

One of the best parts of my visit – on the way to my car, I saw this man and woman playing their instruments.

 

One of the great things I noticed about the New Bedford area as I walked around taking photos and from the crowd at Fort Taber is the diversity of the cultures and people of the area.  The photographs above illustrate this.  The music sounded like it had an up tempo flamenco influence.  It sounded beautiful.  And I love their attire.

Fort Taber/Fort Rodman is a dog friendly park.  The park is a great place for dogs.  There are miles of trails for your dog to wander.

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Sadie is a miniature poodle.  She will be 5 in August!  Early happy birthday wishes, Sadie!

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I also met Yoda, a 10 year old Yorkie.

Below is a video of the inside of one of the forts at Fort Taber.   It’s kind of spooky!

This video is a video of the military reenactors firing their weapons.

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Veteran Greens Memorial Park (Agawam, MA)

Date Visited: May 30, 2016

Location: Main St, Agawam, MA (corner of School St & Main St)

Parking:  There is no off street parking but there are some lots across the street and a small parking area just before the memorial.

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On this important day, I thought it would be good to showcase one of the many war memorials in the Western Massachusetts area.  The Veterans Green Memorial Park, nestled in front of the Phelps Elementary School, is one of these tasteful memorials.

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The memorial, which recognizes every person who has died in war from the Agawam area dating all the way back to the American Revolutionary War.

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Due to the inclement weather and unpredictable weather patterns of the area (it is New England after all), parades and memorials were cancelled this year which gave me full access to the site but probably disappointed a lot of likely parade watchers.  There is usually a ceremony each year at the site and it looked strange not seeing any parades or people reveling in the streets and sidewalks during the day.

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The Benjamin Phelps Elementary School is located behind the memorial and a gazebo stands just off the side of the memorial.

What stands out most about the memorial is the bell.  It symbolizes so much; the tones rung out during remembrances, the readiness and alert nature of our armed forces and the ringing out of victory and freedom.

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Happy memorial and remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.


Battery Park (Burlington, VT)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location: 1 North Ave, Burlington, VT

Open: 365 days a year, 24 hours

Cost: Free

Parking:  Off street parking when it is available

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Located along a busy stretch of roadway in Burlington, Vermont, Battery Park may be best known for its place in the history of American warfare.

Battery Park was named for the artillery stationed there by American forces during the War Of 1812.  On August 13, 1813, American gunners at that location, aided by the naval ship the USS President, successfully defended their position against an attack by a British squadron led by Lt Colonel John Murray.

Since then, the park, which was established in 1870, has taken on a more artistic and more peaceful ambiance.

Statues, memorials and other works of art are scattered along the sidewalk and grass off North Avenue.

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This statue was made by the renown sculpture Peter Wolf Toth.  Toth specializes in sculptures of Native American people.  He has sculpted dozens of statues and has one statue in each of the 50 states in the U.S. as well as in other countries.  This statue above is a monument to Gray Lock’s War veteran chief Gray Lock.  The statue, carved of wood, was dedicated June 22, 1984.

At first glance, this tree may seem rather nondescript, just a tree in a sea of other trees.  But, this is no ordinary tree.  his tree was planted in memory of the September 11 terorist attacks.

Another monument at Battery Park is dedicated to Worker’s Memorial Day (April 28th) which has been designated by the AFL-CIO to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

There are also these unique structures which I still haven’t figured out.

Lake Champlain provides the perfect the backdrop to the park.

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The monuments and statues do not end there.  In the background of the park you can see what have been described “winged monkeys” (from the Wizard Of Oz film).  To really get good photographs of these figures you have to be closer to Champlain College.  The figures are actually on top of some of the buildings in the area of the school’s campus.  But, you can see the distinct figures of some of the characters.  Specifically, it looks like the witch’s guards to me.  I didn’t have the time or energy at that point to (I started traveling and photographing at 7 and it was close to 6 on this day when I photographed Battery Park).  But, it’s also fun trying to see the hidden statues.

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Rudyard Kipling is said to have noted that Battery Park has one of the two finest sunsets in the world.  As the photos demonstrate, I was unfortunately not able to photograph the sunset this particular evening due to the rain and clouds.

In addition to these statues and monuments, there is a statue dedicated to American Civil War General William W. Wells and other local luminaries.

There is also a playground area at the end of the park with swings and slides.

Dogs love Battery Park too.  Gus, a 2 and a half year old, Great Pyranese

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