Milford woman launches effort to honor memorial's 13 from World War II
MILFORD — While out with the garden club weeding around the town's memorial to those who fought during World War II, Carolina Lambalot decided more could be done to honor the men who returned from the war, and those who didn't.
She's now launching an effort to spruce up the memorial and give the men their due.
At the World War II memorial at the corner of Elm and Union streets, 13 arbor vitae trees were planted in the late 1940s to commemorate the men who never made it home from Europe and the Pacific.
But those trees have begun to show their age, and unless someone was told their history, it's unlikely they would recognize the importance of those evergreens, Lambalot said.
"To most people, they're just trees," she said. "But they're so much more than that. I want to replace those trees so they bring out the story of those 13 men again."
And Lambalot said on the granite monument that honors all of the Milford residents who fought in the war, the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country aren't given any special recognition.
"I think there should be something special like a gold star next to those names," said Lambalot, who lost an uncle, a Merchant Mariner, in the war.
With the help of Town Administrator Guy Scaife, a committee has been formed to study the issue of how to best honor the citizens who fought in World War II, said Lambalot.
Currently, Lambalot and the committee are working on finding family members of the men who fought in the war before making any hard and fast plans to change the memorial. With representation from the families on board, the committee can decide how best to make improvements to the memorial without compromising its important history.
"We really want to start tickling the memories of people so that the stories of these men are not forgotten," said Lambalot. "Once the work is done we will have a rededication of the memorial. I think it's important for these men to get the honor that's due to them."
A timeframe hasn't yet been established for the project, and the committee is still in the early stages of organizing and planning.
"This is not going to happen in just a few days," she said, "but it is going to happen."
The committee is currently looking for family members of the 13 men killed in action including Carl K. Bowen Jr., Robert T. Phillips, Leroy Smith, John H. Keddy, William W. G. Maxwell, Harry A. Parker, George W. Kimball, Hartley W. Harley, Howard E. Sanford, Alan Stitham, James J. Picard, Raymond L. Smith, and Theodore E. Hutchinson.
Family members can contact Lambalot via email at firstname.lastname@example.org