Tag Archives: memorial

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.

 


Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park (Boston, MA)

 

Dates Of Visits: August 19, 2018 and September 4, 2018

Location: 105 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Size/Trail Difficulty: 4.5 acres/easy

Parking: There is street parking and several parking garages in the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Highlights: statue of Christopher Columbus, memorial, scenic, fountain, trellis, family friendly

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Although he is not from the area, Christopher Columbus can be considered an adopted son of the North End, a once, and still somewhat, largely Italian neighborhood (although Columbus may have been more likely Spanish they will still claim him).

Dedicated in 1974, Christopher Columbus Park is a family friendly park with open spaces for tanning, reading or just sitting and enjoying a very summer-like day as was the case during my two visits. There are also wonderful views at the park.

The park offers beautiful views of the harbor.  Harbor boats can be seen coming and going on their scheduled trips.

The views from the waterfront are very pretty.

A statue of the explorer who the park was named after is located along the trellis.

The 6x3x2 (12 feet tall in total if you include the base) monument is made out of white Carrara marble, the same marble that is mined in Carrara, Italy.  It is the very same marble from which Michelangelo sculpted the statues “Pieta,” “Moses,” and “David.” There appears to be ropes and a piling with a float on it by his legs.  He is clutching a book or manuscript and a dagger is attached to his belt. The statue was designed by Andrew J. Mazzola and it was fabricated by Norwood Monumental Works in 1979.

A fountain dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and next to the Rose Kennedy Garden, is a peaceful place to sit and watch the water.

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Or, you can use it to cool down like Teagan a 6 month old Golden Retriever.

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Lilly, an 8 year old Golden Retriever, didn’t like the fountain as much as Teagan but she still liked the park. I love how  Golden retrievers always seem to look like they are smiling.  Probably because they are.

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The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Garden, dedicated to the matriarch of the Kennedy family, has a wide variety of flowers.

But, the pretty flowers are not only located in the garden.  There are beautiful flowers throughout the park.

The other main attraction, beside the statue of Columbus, is the trellis.  Ivy and white lights are attached to the trellis.  During the holiday season, blue lights are attached to it.

During my visit, there was a scavenger hunt by the Dragon Of Bostonshire.  This lady was giving a speech with hints for all of the participants.

There’s lots of entertainment at the park.  This musician played a heartbreaking instrumental of Vincent by Don McLean.

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Another more famous musician was playing at the park during my visit.  I could write a blog post just about him.  The most interesting thing about Keytar is his identity.  Or the mystery behind his identity. Keytar Bear is a local celebrity.  But, little else is known about him.  Keytar plays at a variety of different locations in the Boston area, unannounced.  You could see him at a train station (I’ve seen him at South Station) or any other venue in the Boston area, particularly during the warmer seasons.  In fact, it’s so normal to see him people really aren’t fazed by his presence.  No one knows what he (I am pretty sure I read the musician is a male in an article) looks like or his name.  But, everyone knows him when they see him.

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If music isn’t your thing, there are other ways to entertain yourself like a game of hop scotch.

Or, you could climb a tree.

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There is also a memorial dedicated to the 9 marines from Massachusetts who were killed in the Beirut bombing (220 U.S. Marines, 241 US Service personnel and 305 people in total were killed that day by the bombers).  It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it is there.  It is next to the children’s playground and close to the Average Joe’s restaurant.  The memorial is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.  In fact, I made a second trip to find it after I missed it the first time.

It always strikes me when I read the names and ages of just how young these soldiers are when they die.  They had so much more to live for.

The nine Marines from Massachusetts names are inscribed on the memorial.  They are:

  • LCP Bradley J. Campus – Lynn, 1962-1983
  • LCP Michael J. Delvin – Westwood, 1962-1983
  • SGT MAJ Frederick B. Douglass – Cataumet, 1936-1983
  • CPT Sean R. Gallagher – North Andover, 1952-1983
  • SGT Edward J. Gargano – Quincy, 1962-1983
  • CPT Richard J. Gordon – Somerville, 1961-1983
  • CPT Michael S. Haskell – Westborough, 1950-1983
  • SGT Steven B. LaRiviere – Chicopee, 1961-1983
  • LCP Thomas S. Perron – Whitinsville, 1964-1983

Below is a video of Keytar Bear playing his keytar with a background track.  His music is very chill.


Apremont Memorial Park (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Visits: July 3, 2017, November 11, 2017

Location: 707 Southampton Rd, Westfield, MA

Hours: Open daily, 24 hours a day

Parking: There is room for about half a dozen cars at the entrance to the park

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Apremont Memorial Park

Highlights: memorial to the The

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Once the training site of the Massachusetts State Militia (then called Hampton Plains) some 112 years ago, Apremont Park is now the home to a memorial dedicated to the 104th U.S. Infantry.  After  World War I broke out, the site was reactivated for the 104th Infantry Regiment of the 26th Yankee Division and was renamed Camp Bartlett.

The 104th Infantry Regiment has a storied past that dates back to November 14, 1639 when it was first mustered as the Springfield Train Band.  They would go on to be incorporated as part of the Hampshire County Massachusetts Militia.  They would also serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and in the Civil War as part of the Union Army as well as many other campaigns such as the Spanish-American War and both World Wars.  The last active element of the regiment, the 1st Battalion, was deactivated in 2005 and the soldiers and lineage transferred to the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment.  But, their legacy still remains, particularly at this memorial.

I made two visits to this park; one in July of this year and today.  I enjoy seeing the differences in the park from the different seasons.

In August 17, 1917, 13,000 troops from the National Guard organization of New England camped out for 14 weeks; then the 104th Infantry left for France to compile a record of outstanding bravery. There is a bronze plaque set in from of the monuments of the General Passage of France decorating the colors of the 104th Infantry during World War I. The park is named after a small French town of Apremont, which was defeated and saved by the 104th Infantry.

Inscribed on the memorial is:

FOR GREATEST FIGHTING SPIRIT AND SELF SACRIFICE DURING ACTION OF APRIL 10, 12 AND 13 1918.  SUFFERING FROM VERY HEAVY BOMBARDMENTS AND ATTACKED BY VERY STRONG GERMAN FORCES THE 104TH INFANTRY SUCCEEDED IN PREVENTING THEIR DANGEROUS ADVANCE, AND WITH GREATEST ENERGY RECONQUERED, AT THE POINT OF THE BAYONET , THE FEW RUINED TRENCHES WHICH HAD TO BE ABANDONED AT THE FIRST ONSET, AT THE SAME TIME MAKING PRISONERS.

Also inscribed on the memorial is the name of the infantry that was organized on the spot (the 104th Regiment Infantry) and a description of their background.

I originally photographed this monument on July 3rd.  But, after doing my research on the memorial, I noticed I had missed some interesting and important parts of the memorial.  During my original photo shoot, I missed these parts of the memorial.  I think the flowers that were once in bloom in July hid them from my view during my initial visit.  This was not the case when I came back to visit earlier today.

There are benches near the memorial for quiet reflection and markers to memorialize their efforts in World War I and World War II.  The park is also used to honor veterans on special occasions such as the Fourth of July and other special events.  I did not see any other people at the park during my visit today.

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There is also a memorial honoring those who served in the 104th Infantry Regiment during World War II.

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Another memorial lays to the left of the entrance of the park.

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Thank you to all the veterans of the 104th Infantry and all of the veterans who have served our country.

 


The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge (Simsbury, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 10, 2017

Location: 1 Old Bridge Rd, Simsbury, CT (about half an hour northwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours: Available 24 hours a day

Cost: Free (but donations are appreciated)

Parking: There is room for about a dozen or so cars in the parking lot off Old Bridge Rd

Handicapped Accessible: No, There are some poles at the entrance to the bridge to prevent vehicles from driving onto the bridge and I am not sure if wheelchairs could get past them (see photo below).

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Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers strategically placed on a bridge, scenic, historical landmark

Website: Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge

Tips:

  • parking is located on located on Old Bridge Rd off Drake Hill Rd.  There’s no parking located at the entrance by Riverside Rd
  • popular place for weddings, engagements and portrait photography

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There’s more than one “bridge of flowers” in New England.

Inspired by the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA, the Old Drake Bridge Of Flowers, is by no means as long or as flowery as the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA.  Yet, what it lacks in length and variety of flowers it makes up for in charm.

Each panel of the bridge is decorated with various flowers.  The bridge has 32 baskets and 48 boxes, some of which were built and added by an Eagle Scout, filled with flowers of an array of colors. The flowers bloom from late May to October.

During my visit, I met a woman who stops by every other day to water, trim and keep after the plants.  Clearly, she’s doing a wonderful job.

The bridge, originally built in 1892,  is an example of 19th century metal-truss bridge construction.  It spans 183 feet and includes a 12-foot roadway suspended 18 feet over Farmington River.  And it has been much traveled over the years.

The Old Drake Flower Bridge was originally built to be a one lane, one way bridge for vehicular traffic.  It was later replaced by a 2 lane bridge in 1992.  Finally, in 1995, it was restored as a pedestrian bridge.   It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984

There are also plants and flowers by the sides of  each entrance to the bridge.

At the entrance to the bridge, off to the left side, there is a memorial dedicated to the original bridge (the Weatogue Bridge) that was built there before it was replaced by the Old Drake Flower Bridge.

The inscription on the historical marker reads reads:

A toll bridge was built here 
in 1734 by order of 
the General Assembly 
it was the first 
highway bridge across 
the Farmington River

The Old Flower Bridge is a popular place for weddings, portrait photography shoots and engagements.  In fact, I turned around from the parking lot the first day I went there because there was a wedding or wedding shoot taking place and I didn’t want to disrupt them.  The second day I went I ran into a couple who had just gotten engaged.  The beaming couple asked me to take their photo and went on their merry way of future bliss.

The Old Flower Bridge is dog friendly.

Lisa (on the right) is a 5 year old Havanese.  I love seeing how happy and proud dog guardians are in their photos.

Tucker Jones is a 2 year old Corgi.

Leila is a 9 year old Bernese and Beagle mix.

Below is a link to The Flash Lady Photography.  The Flash Lady Photography conducted an engagement photo shoot on the bridge in 2015.  You may notice many of the flowers are not on the bridge when these photos were taken as it was the end of October when the photos were taken.  I hope they’re both very happy now!

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Irish Famine Memorial (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 17, 2017

Location: corners of Washington and School St, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking:Street parking can be difficult is this neighborhood.  Finding a parking garage is probably the best option.  Also, the Park St train stop on the Red Line is within walking distance (about half a mile) to the memorial.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

While we’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our green beer and corned beef (pause for the collective yuck) it’s easy to forget about the history of the Irish people and the hardships that brought so many Irish here, especially to New England.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is dedicated to the Great Famine that gripped Ireland in 1845.  Potatoes, a main crop in Ireland, stopped growing, leaving many to go hungry and suffer financially as they could not sell their crops.  Mold was the culprit.  Since potatoes were the main crop in Ireland, many of the poor in Ireland suffered from the famine, with about one-eighth of the population dying from hunger or disease related to the famine over the following years. As a result of the famine, Irish immigration to the United States spiked with over 1.5 million Irish arriving on our shores. Boston was one of the main destinations for these new citizens and the Irish remain a prominent part of our community.

Robert Shure’s Boston Irish Famine Memorial displays the pain and, conversely, pride of the Irish people who have suffered so much.  It is a somber, powerful and inspiring display of the suffering and, ultimately, the ability of the Irish to overcome their “troubles”.

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The first statue, located on School and Washington streets, shows three people, presumably a mother, father and child, in the throes of hunger.  Shure was meticulous in his sculpture.  You can see how thin the figures are and, from certain angles, you can actually see the ribs of the figures.

The second sculpture shows three people, presumably the very same family healthy and happy.  Standing up straight and proudly, the family looks happy and healthy.  It is most certainly a sign of how all of us can overcome adversity and how the Irish have been able to withstand so much.

As an aside, I love the diversity of Boston.  Traversing through the memorial, I witnessed people of all walks of life and ethnicities.

A wreath and flower was placed by the Charitable Irish Society at the sculpture of the suffering family and on one of the figures of the memorial to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

A series of 8 plaques encircle the memorial.  One of the plaques, entitled “Let’s We Forget”, gives a nod to the suffering and famines across the globe and how we continue to watch as others starve helplessly.

The bronze and granite memorial was dedicated in June of 1998, marking the 150th anniversary of the famine.

On my way back to the train station, I saw Brig, a beautiful Bull Mastiff.

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The National Monument To The Forefathers (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 19, 2016

Location: Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 72 Allerton St., Plymouth, MA

Hours: Sunrise To Sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking at the statue and street parking available on Allerton St and on nearby streets

Dog Friendly: Yes

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Largest solid granite sculpture in the United States,

Web Site: National Monument To The Forefathers

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Mostly known for the tourist attractions Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Massachusetts is home to another lesser known, but no less impressive attraction.  In  fact, Plymouth is home to one of the largest sculptures in the states.

Clocking in at 81 feet, the National Monument To The Forefathers is the the largest solid granite sculpture in the United States. The granite was quarried in and transported to Plymouth from Hallowell, Maine.

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The monument, also known as the Pilgrim Statue, was created by Hammatt Billings, a Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor.  Billings would never got to see the sculpture in its final stages.  Billings died 15 years into the construction of the monument, or about half the time it took to construct the statue.  After Hammat Billings’ death his brother, Joseph, worked with a group of other sculptors to complete the project.  Dedicated on August 1, 1889, after 30 years of construction, the sculpture was meant to be a memorial to the Pilgrims who settled in the area.

The memorial has several statues within the memorial itself.  Statues representing Liberty, Peace, Tyranny, Education, Wisdom, Youth, Law, Mercy, Justice, and Morality surround the monument.  The monument wwas position to face Northeast towards Plymouth Harbor and, perhaps not coincidentally, towards Plymouth, England.

Faith, the statue at the top of the monument, is 36 feet tall and made of solid granite.  The Faith statue itself is listed as the 32nd largest statue in the entire United States and its territories.  The statue is pointing to heaven with her right hand.  In her left hand she is clutching a bible.

True to its description as a monument to the forefathers, all of the names of the passengers of the Mayflower.  Recognize any names?  Clearly, Massachusetts, as it would be later part of, was not all that progressive jusging by how women were considered “the wife of” the male passengers.

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The park offers grand views of the statue and it is said that before all of the construction and the planting of trees in the area many years, you could see the monument from miles away.  The park allows for some scenic views of the monument.

The memorial is surrounded by a spacious park and there is lots of room to walk your dog.  China, also known as China Doll, a rescued Siberian Husky and Lab mix, was enjoying the park while I was there.  She looks so happy!


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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