Tag Archives: monument

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 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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The Wall That Heals (West Springfield, MA)

Dates Of Exhibit: August 18 – 21, 2016 (the exhibit will be making another appearance in New England October 20 when it arrives in West Haven, CT and will then go to New Milford, CT, Leominster, MA and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT)

Location: Eastern States Exposition (Gate 9) , 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA

Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Parking was free for viewing the memorial (it is usually $5 to park there).  There were about 70 parking spots.

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: Replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Mobile Educational Center, military memorabilia and vehicles, helicopter liftoff

Website: The Wall That Heals

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The traveling replica of the Wall That Heals spent the weekend of August 18-21 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts before continuing its tour.  It is presently in Princetown, New York until August 28.  Click below to see the entire 2016 schedule for the wall

The Wall That Heals 2016 Tour Schedule

A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Wall That Heals has been to more than 400 cities throughout the United States.  It was dedicated on Veteran’s Day (November 11), 1996.

The Wall That Heals is meant to not only act as a reminder of all those who died in the service of their country during the Vietnam Conflict it also is meant to help veterans cope and heal from the pain they still harbor and hopefully help them heal.

There is also a mobile Education Center which has educational information on the walls of the truck.  In one section of the exterior of the truck there was a list and photos of the people from Massachusetts lost in Vietnam.  Another section showed the names and photos from the area where the truck was parked (Western MA) and a final video screen displayed all of the victims of the war.  There is also timelines of the war and additional background information of the war.

You can’t help but to be moved by seeing all of the names on the wall.  All of those names had dreams, hopes, futures that were snuffed out much too early.  I kept thinking how much more they were meant to accomplish.  They were supposed to fall in love and have children and outlive their parents.  What really got to me was seeing the photos, notes, flowers and flags that were left behind.  Even decades later, the wounds are still fresh for so many.

The 250 foot long wall has over 58,000 names.

 

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On a lighter note, one thing I have always respected and admired about people in the service and veterans is their sense of humor and ability to turn just about anything into a joke.  This signpost, presumably a replica of a sign at one of the American camps in Vietnam details the distances (from West Springfield, MA) to Camp Pendleton (2,494 mi), Ia Drang (8,599 mi), Vietnam Wall (371 mi) and, of course, Disney World (1,236 mi).  Home is wherever you are so that shows 0 miles.

There were also tables with military gear from the Vietnam War era and military vehicles also from that era.

We were also treated to a helicopter liftoff (video of the liftoff follows below) by an Army Black Hawk Medevac.  The things on the side are either gun pods or for launching torpedoes. Watching them prep for the liftoff showed me just how much care and preparation goes into every flight and just how meticulous they are about checking their flight gear.

Below are videos of a walking tour of The Wall That Heals (I only walked half of the wall with the video recording because it was a high traffic area) and the Blackhawk helicopter liftoff.

Places With Similar Monuments I Have Visited In New England:

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Fort Taber/Rodman Park

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Veteran Greens Memorial Park

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Bronstein Park (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: February 27, 2016

Location: Beech St, Manchester, New Hampshire (with access points on Union, St, Amherst St and Hanover St)

Cost: Free to the public

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Although a statue that is dedicated to the veterans of the Spanish American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Phillipine-American War, Bronstein Park celebrates a hero from another war.

Although “The Hiker” stands prominently at the street entrance to the park, Bronstein Park (formerly known as Hanover Square) is actually named after a corpsman who died in World War II; Dr. Ben Richard Bronstein, the first Manchester, New Hampshire, resident to die during the war.  Dr Bronstein’s brother, Maurice Bronstein, donated the memorial to the park in 1990.

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The inscription on the memorial is hard to read in some parts.  It states:

“in memory of
Dr. BEN RICHARD BRONSTEIN,
LIEUTENANT, MEDICAL CORPS,
aboard the destroyer
U.S.S. Jacob Jones
Lost in Action, February 28, 1942
First Naval Officer
From the State of New Hampshire
To have Sacrificed his life
in the fulfillment of his duty
in World War II.

Another memorial pays tribute to Dr. Bronstein’s brother, Stephen Max Bronstein, who also served during the war.

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“The Hiker” was originally sculpted by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson in 1906.  The original statue was made for the University of Minnesota.  However, 50 copies were made of her statue and were distributed all over America.  Manchester, New Hampshire was the recipient of one of the copies of her statue.  The statue is made of bronze on a base of granite, of course.

The name “hiker” was a moniker the American soldiers in the Spanish American War and Philippine-American War gave themselves because of the long hikes they took in the jungle.  Kitson said the hiker, “depicts a hero stripped of his parade uniform and shown as a soldier reacting to the challenges of the battlefield.”

Leonard Sefing, Jr., a Spanish-American War veteran, was the model for the statue.

A close inspection of the statue shows a weary soldier clad in civilian type apparel.

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An American flag stands in front of the memorial for Dr. Ben Bronstein.

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One strange thing I noticed is a warning posted that prohibits people from hanging out at the park during school hours.  So that is something to bear in mind if you do visit.  I’m not sure why this restriction is in place.  I can only imagine you would be the talk of the town in prison if you ever got convicted of it “Don’t mess with that guy.  He’s in here for loitering.” (I know it’s probably just a fine)

Below are some additional photos of the park from different angles.

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Witch Trial Memorial (Danvers, MA)

When most people think of the witch hysteria that gripped the New England colonies in 1692 and 1693, they are likely to think it began and took place exclusively in Salem.  However, although they are known as the Salem Witch Trials and Salem largely takes the infamy of the witch hunt, Salem does not hold that infamous title.

Salem Village, now known as Danvers, has the infamous distinction of being the beginning of the Salem witch hysteria.  It is here in Danvers, Massachusetts, where a somber memorial stands as a constant reminder to remember this past and to never let something like this happen again.

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Erected in May, 1992, the monuments lists the 20 people who were executed during the witch trials.

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Each slab lists a quote of innocence from each victim.

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The rays spilling in from the top of the memorial was a nice touch.

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Some of the more poignant quotes listed on the wall are:

“Well!  burn me or hang me.  I will stand in the truth of Christ…” – George Jacobs, Sr

“Amen. Amen.  A false tongue will never make a guilty person.” – Susannah Martin

The memorial also has a sculpture of “The Book Of Life” on top of a table that has a tribute etched in the base.

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Attached to each side of the book are chains.  Stark reminders of the pain they endured.

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Someone left a flower at the memorial, a common occurrence at this memorial, particularly during this time of the year.

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The memorial site has many pretty views to photograph from a variety of angles and the foliage added a nice touch.  The foliage gave a serene feeling in contrast to the moving memorial.

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In front of the memorial, there is monument that lists the generous donors who made the memorial possible.  You may notice the red door on the house in the background.  This is not unusual for the area.  The houses in Danvers and the surrounding area were beautiful in their understated uniqueness and pretty yet rustic nature.

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A sign, inconspicuously posted by the side of the road explains the origins and history of the site and surrounding area as well as the meaning behind the memorial.

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