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Restoration proposed for World War I monument on The Green

By LAURA FREEMAN Reporter Published: April 30, 2017 12:06 AM
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HUDSON -- A hundred years ago on April 6, the United States entered World War I and among those who served were 81 individuals from Hudson.

The United States joined the battle in Europe "to make the world safe for democracy" and afterwards communities created memorials to the war.

A bronze memorial tablet containing the names of the Hudson participants was once placed on the Clocktower's western side. Christopher Bach of Peninsula Architects told Council April 4 about the tablet when he presented a project to restore the memorial.

The plaque was removed when the ground floor of the Clocktower became a restroom and residents complained, Bach said. The plaque was relocated to the green near the newly built Boy Scout cabin. Today, the stone support is missing a few rocks, and it may have had a cannon on top at one time, he said.

"The stone base is deteriorating," Bach said. "We'd like to restore or replace it."

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A matching grant, 100 cities/100 memorials is being offered by the United States World War I Centennial Commission and Pritzker Military Museum and Library with the support of The American Legion Veterans of Foreign Wars to help restore World War I memorials throughout the country. Bach is working on the application, which is due June 15.

The grant is being offered in observation of the upcoming centennial of World War I and "not only to honor the names of those who served but to raise awareness of the momentous event in our nation's history and increase each and every communities' understanding of their towns' and cities' place in military history," according to the Centennial Commission.

The community would need to raise the $2,000 to match the grant, Bach said.

"We've raised $1,000 through various organizations, and the goal is to get another $1,000," Bach said. "The matching grant is up to $2,000."

Some of the organizations include Hudson DAR, Hudson American Legion and Destination Hudson and others are welcomed, he said.

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Bach became interested in the project after submitting a proposal for a World War I monument in Washington, D.C. along with 360 participants from around the world.

"With the upcoming centennial of Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 2018, the goal is to have a WWI memorial (in D.C.)," Bach said. "They picked a site just one block southeast of the White House in Pershing Park."

The design was selected and is being developed with fundraising underway, he said.

Although Bach's plan wasn't chosen, he wanted to do something about Hudson's memorial.

The bronze memorial tablet would be restored and refinished along with its stand, Bach said.

Research will be part of the restoration process.

Bach is talking with teachers from the area schools to enlist students in the middle and high school grades to research the names on the plaque to not only find out about their service years but their ties to the Hudson community.

Some of the names listed include Roy A. Babb, Francis L. Brewster, William A. Ellsworth, Dr. Henry J. Herrick, Alvin Loomis, Dr. George A. Miller, Orr Lynn Perry and Reign Young.

Brothers also served and include the Goettge, Greenlese, Henry, Hubbard, Phillips, Sargent, Slinkard, Steggall, Turner, Weaver and Zeidenberg families.

At the bottom of column three a nurse is listed, Martha Clark.

"Currently we don't know of anyone who is a direct descendent of the names on the plaque," Bach said.

That could change as research begins and residents become involved, he said.

"I would encourage the community to get involved in some way," Bach said. "This is a great opportunity to commemorate World War I in general, and I think the memorial does that by recognizing the individuals and restoring the monument."

Bach said he hopes to publish the stories written by the students about each of the names on the plaque in the local paper as the Armistice date approaches.

"There would be research, recognition of individuals and restoration of the memorial," Bach said.

For more information or comments, email Bach at cbach@pa-architects.com

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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