New WWII Veterans' Memorial Proposed for Common
Veterans' group hopes to raise between $500,000 and $600,000 for the project.
The almost-70-year-old memorial on the Common that lists the names of city residents who fought in World War II is crumbling and the Friends of Woburn Veterans has proposed to raise between $500,000 and $600,000 to replace the brick-and-wood structure.
The City Council approved the proposal Tuesday.
The structure has deteriorated to the point where it can’t be repaired, according to Larry Guiseppe, the city’s director of veterans’ services. There is no room to add new names to the list, he added.
The new monument would include the names of veterans from Woburn who fought in all conflicts, from the American Revolution through the Spanish American War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea and more recent conflicts, Guiseppe said. That would be between 15,000 and 20,000 names, he said.
A new memorial would be similar in its footprint to the existing one, Guiseppe told Woburn Patch Wednesday, and include two more panels. The materials have not yet been finalized, he said, but could be granite for the foundation and onyx for the tablets on which the names would be placed.
The current memorial was built, Guiseppe said, in 1943. At that time, he said, it cost $2,400.
Its condition now is, he said, “an embarrassment,” based on the passage of time.
Guiseppe thinks the community, including businesses, would support the plan. He had hoped that the money could be raised in a year, so a new memorial could be dedicated on Veterans Day, 2012. Fundraising would probably take more than a year, he acknowledged. Medford took three years to raise the money for a memorial, he noted.
The city’s veterans’ agent said he met with Mayor Scott Galvin about a month ago about the new memorial. Guiseppe also talked to city department heads, he said, and met with a committee of the City Council about a week ago. The committee “fully supported the initiative,” he said. The City Council voted unanimously to accept the proposal, Guiseppe said. The council had to approve the proposal, Guiseppe explained, because the memorial is on city land.