I Always Find the Monument
These last couple of days I've been on a school trip to the great city of Stamford, Connecticut...doing school stuff. Well, mostly my students are doing the hard work while I go off to find the local commemorative efforts.
As you all know - I will always find the monument. Most towns have them - on courthouse lawns, in cemeteries, downtown, or in close proximity to other conspicuous places. And, as a scholar who has a great deal of interest in public representations of history and memory - naturally I gravitate toward any expression of such.
I had a few hours in the morning to explore Stamford's contribution to historical memory. They have a very stern looking Lincoln, an arrangement of commemorative obelisks reminding passers by of the sacrifices made by the sons and daughters of Stamford in the 20th century. Included in Veterans Park: a monument to local hero Homer Lee Wise, WWII Medal of Honor recipient.
Most impressive is the Soldiers and Sailors monument in St. John's Park - a towering structure commemorating each of Stamford's losses in all its conflicts from 1641 to 1918...by name. As with many monuments, this one surely dominated the grounds when first erected in 1920. Now it is swallowed by modern urban structures, and no one seems to be paying it much mind - though I did see a city employee come by a make a notation on a clipboard...I wonder what was up?