Memorial Boulevard:The park's commemorative side

Published on Thursday, 29 July 2021 09:09
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This coming October, the City of Bristol, its Parks, Recreation, Youth & Community Services Department, and the Bristol Historical Society, along with the Bristol Veterans Council, Memorial Military Museum, and the extended community plan to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Memorial Boulevard which opened in 1921. The following is the seventh article in a monthly series written by Tom Dickau commemorating the centennial anniversary of the park by depicting the history behind the land, people, and events that helped shape it into the park Bristol treasures today.

COMMEMORATIVE SIDE OF THE VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK

VETERANS TRIBUTE WALKWAY

The sixth article in June regarding the 100th Anniversary of the Memorial Boulevard discussed the first two monuments located on the Commemorative Side of the Veterans Memorial Park. This section is situated on the north side of the boulevard next to the Pequabuck River. It is dedicated to all men and women, who entered our country’s military service since colonial times. The first memorial serves as an introduction, recognizing the country’s five service branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force and the United States Coast Guard. The second monument, the Spanish -American War Soldier, recognizes the deceased World War II Veterans.

The Commemorative Side continues in an easterly direction with the Bristol Veterans Tribute Walkway dedicated on May 27, 2001 by the Bristol Veterans Council. This has become the connector, joining together the memorials on the Commemorative Side. Running west to east alphabetically, it begins after “The Hiker” and ends at the park’s main sidewalk after the final memorial marker. It is comprised of ten divisions on the west side and nine sections on the east. Each division contains memorial bricks dedicated to past and present male and female member of the armed services. Each brick is inscribed with the branch of service and the name of the veteran. Six unmarked rows of bricks are neatly arranged between each section. An enclosed glossary or index is available, between the west and east side, to assist visitors in locating a specific memorial brick. This walkway contains tributes to members of all the military branches, including one memorial each for a veteran of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Additional memorial bricks can be purchased by contacting Army Strong at City Hall or Treasurer Stanley Piotrowski of the Bristol Veterans Council.

The next memorial recognizes both the servicemen who died during World War I as well as, city benefactor, Albert F. Rockwell. A bronze plaque adorned with a patriotic eagle is inscribed:

THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED TO

HONOR THOSE SOLDIERS FROM BRISTOL

CONNECTICUT WHO LOST THEIR LIVES

DURING WORLD WAR I. A PIN-OAK

TREE HAS BEEN PLANTED ALONG THE

MEMORIAL BOULEVARD WHICH WAS

DONATED TO THE CITY OF BRISTOL

BY ALBERT F. ROCKWELL IN MEMORIAL

FOR EACH SOLDIER WHO MADE

THE SUPREME SACRIFICE. THIS

COMEMORATIVE TREE WAS PLANTED

ON NOVEMBER 11, VETERANS DAY, 1968.

BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS

MAYOR HENRY J. WOJTUSIK, CHAIRMAN

JOSEPH J. RILEY JR., VICE CHAIRMAN AND

SUPERINTENDENT

EDWIN N. DECKER, SECRETARY

HERBERT L. KERN MICHAEL W. BANNAN JR.

CHESTER G. MERROW PERRY J. SPINELLI

The next bronze memorial marker, which is mounted on a rock foundation is dedicated to our city’s Revolutionary War Patriots

IN MEMORY OF THE

REVOLUTIONARY WAR PATRIOTS

WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES

AND FORTUNES FOR THEIR COUNTRY

PLACED BY

KATHERINE GAYLORD CHAPTER

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1984

The next structure on the Commemorative Side is The Memorial Boulevard Gazebo, with benches to accommodate visitors.

U.S. CONFLICTS

Directly behind the gazebo are two granite obelisks recognizing the major conflicts in which the United States engaged. Two patriotic eagles facing each other adorn the top of these memorials. The monument of the left is inscribed with five significant events:

U.S. MARINE BARRACKS MFL

    1983         LEBANON

    OPERATION URGENT FURY

    1983         GRENADA

    OPERATION JUST CAUSE

    1989 – 90         PANAMA

    OPERATION DESERT SHIELD

    1990         SAUDI ARABIA

    OPERATION EAGLE CLAW

    1980         IRAN

    U.S. EMBASSY HOSTAGE CRISIS RESCUE ATTEMPT

To its right, the second obelisk reads:

    OPERATION DESERT STORM

    1991         KUWAIT – IRAQ

    OPERATION RESTORE HOPE

    1992 – 93         SOMALIA

    OPERATION DELIBERATE FORCE

    1995        BOSNIA

    

OPERATION JOINT GUARDIAN

    1999 – 2000        KOSOVO

These monuments are also known as the, “NO SERVICE LEFT UNRECOGNIZED MEMORIALS”.

The reverse side of each memorial can be utilized as needed in the future.

These memorials are surrounded by the United States and Connecticut flags.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 29 July 2021 09:09. Updated: Thursday, 29 July 2021 09:11.