November 9, 2018 3:04 pm
Lawyers and staff at Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting contribute time and expertise to many Worcester area non-profit organizations, as part of the firm’s commitment to building a better community. Dale Harger’s involvement with the City’s new World War I Memorial is just one example. Dale has served for many years as a Director of the Green Hill Park Coalition, Inc. GHPC holds a Conservation Restriction on Green Hill Park and works closely with the City of Worcester and with other organizations to maintain and improve the park.
A decade after the end of World War I, the City of Worcester constructed a memorial in Green Hill Park and planted nearby a large grove of maple trees in remembrance of Worcester veterans who died in the conflagration.
Several years ago, Brian McCarthy, the President of Green Hill Park Coalition, noticed the deterioration of the structure and decline of many of the trees. After meticulous research, he determined that 379 Worcester residents died as a result of the war. He then created and led a collaboration among GHPC, the City, Worcester Technical High School, WPI and the Worcester Tree Initiative. Thanks to Brian’s tireless efforts and the generosity of the other collaborators, the grove has been replanted with diverse tree species in time for the centennial of the Great War’s armistice on November 11, 2018.
A world-class memorial is under construction at the site. It includes hundreds of tall steel poles, each with a nameplate for one of the fallen. The design was created by WPI faculty members and students. Faculty members from Worcester Tech made the nameplates, and the Worcester Tree Initiative, an independent program of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, planted more than 200 trees to replenish the grove.
A centennial plaque will be installed at the entrance to the memorial grove. Here is the text, over which I labored for many weeks:
During the Great War of 1914-1918, thousands of Worcester’s residents citizens and immigrants alike answered the call to arms by enlisting in the armed forces of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
World War I claimed millions of lives. It maimed and impoverished millions more. Finally, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice ended the fighting.
Ten years later, here on Green Hill, Worcester honored its dead by building a somber memorial structure and by planting a grove of maple trees one for each of the hundreds of its residents who died in the war. Subsequent decades weakened the plantings and eroded the stonework but did not diminish the city’s commitment to remember its fallen soldiers and sailors.
On November 11, 2018, the centennial of the armistice, we remember again those men and women whose sacrifice gave the world an interval of peace. To honor them, we rededicate this memorial grove.
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Image Credit: Evelyn Herwitz