To the residents of Springfield:
Memorial Day was established in 1868 specifically to honor those who had lost their lives in service to their country in the Civil War. It customarily now honors all our war dead from that date on. The township memorials are located on the green at the Municipal Building. Until fairly recently, the annual Memorial Day parade began with a service on the green, the appropriate place. The names of all those who served in WWl are on the plaque on the front of the building (Springfield's only loss in that war was Raymond Chisholm) with other plaques honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice in WWll (including a Tuskegee Airman, Thomas Street, whose plane was lost), the Korean War, and Viet Nam in the plaza.
Veterans Park is a beautiful park dedicated to all those who served, but the day to remember all veterans is Nov. 11, and an appropriate observation is held then.
The route of the Memorial Day parade was altered a couple of years ago, removing any observation at the actual site of the Memorials to the lost; it now begins at Veterans Park and ends up with hot dogs and sodas at the high school. I respectfully suggests this removes the solemn element of the day and does not honor the intention of Memorial Day.
Given the current route, may I suggest that families and all who attend take a few minutes out of the day, on the way to or home from the celebration, to pause at town hall, read those names, and honor the sacrifice they and their families made. Enjoy the parade and the hot dogs, by all means, but do not forget what it is all about. And I will also suggest that we have veterans of the Civil War and the Revolution, and yes, the War of 1812, interred in our older local cemeteries; these veterans and war dead are also entitled to our remembrance and honor. Their graves are marked by stones which acknowledge their service, so it can be an adventure in history to locate them and think about what our freedoms have cost over the years since 1776
Margaret Bandrowski, Springfield Historical Society
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