Volunteers Beautify Bellingham’s War Memorials
The volunteers are shown above (clockwise): Jim Hastings (kneeling), with Thomas Earnest Sr, Thomas Earnest Jr, and The Home Depot’s volunteers: Julio Ulloa, Rob Montgomery, Bob Lawrence (back, in green shirt) and Kristen Charron.
story and photo by Jennifer Russo, Contributing Writer
On June 19th a group of volunteers came ready with shovels, cobblestones, mulch and other donated goods from Home Depot to spruce up Bellingham’s local war memorials. It was a hot and muggy day, but this didn’t stop them from putting their backs into replacing planters, moving and adding plants and mulch, and adorning the space to honor these local heroes. Jim Hastings and Thomas Earnest Sr., of the Bellingham Memorial Day and Veterans Day Committee, were joined by Thomas Earnest Jr. and six volunteers from Home Depot, including Bob Lawrence, Kristen Charron, Rob Montgomery, Julio Ulloa, Samantha Paige and Clayton Zion.
“We are more than happy to volunteer our services and time for this purpose and the community that shops in our stores,” said Bob Lawrence of Home Depot. And the joy was obvious, for the volunteers did everything with a smile.
They began with Spencer Square, a memorial located at the junction of routes 126 and 140 that honors Edward L. Spencer, a fallen WWI Navy hero who passed in 1918 after rescuing a comrade from drowning. Spencer Square was originally dedicated in 1937, with a memorial plaque erected by his family in 2007.
In addition to adding some adornment to the Spencer Memorial, the volunteer team travelled around town that day and did the same for more local memorials in Bellingham, including the Albert Prefontaine WWII Memorial on South Main and Elm streets, the Harold Trudel WWII Memorial on Route 126 and Bellingham St., the Marcel Creapeau Memorial on Douglas and Pond streets, the Francis Monterio WWII Memorial on Pulaski and Center streets, the Augusto Bozzi WWII Memorial on Pulaski Blvd., and others.
In the next month or so, the Memorial Day Committee will be providing other signage to local memorials and will also be installing solar lighting at the town cemetery flagpoles and the flagpole at the Memorial Middle School.
“It's an honor to be able to keep alive the memory of our fallen warriors and veterans who have since left us,” said Jim Hastings.
We encourage the community to drive around town and take notice of these monuments to those who have served proudly.