Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Wilton Main Street Association restores war memorials for Memorial Day

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Monadnock Ledger – Transcript

Published: 05/18/2022 10:25:20

Modified: 05/18/2022 10:23:34

The Wilton Main Street Association has launched a fundraiser to restore the six bronze plaques on three war memorials in the city.

Monument restoration has been on the association’s to-do list since Monument Park was renovated two years ago, WMSA President Alison Meltzer said, but funds were not forthcoming.

After fundraising and allocating part of its annual budget, the association also approached Bent-Burke American Legion and the Sons of the American Legion, as well as the Wilton Heritage Commission, for donations to raise the 4 $000 needed to clean and restore the bronze plaques and clean the marble on three of the memorials.

“Our veterans have given so much of themselves in service to our country, and their names should be honored by all of us in appreciation for their service to us,” Meltzer said. “It’s pretty remarkable to me how many of these names are still common in Wilton. It speaks to a community that holds on or calls them back from afar after a while.”

The oldest of the memorials was dedicated in 1924, Meltzer said, and from what the WMSA has been able to determine has never been cleaned or restored in the nearly 100 years it has stood in the park. The fourth memorial, installed more recently as part of an Eagle Scout project honoring post-Vietnam veterans, required no restoration.

“The best comparison now is to look at the old memorials and the post-Vietnam memorial, which is about 10 years old. And when you look at that, and you look at the others, they’re all the same age. You can’t tell how much older those in the big monument are,” Meltzer said.

The WMSA contracted Manchester Memorial Company to clean the granite. A subcontractor, Daniel Grenier and his grandson Anton Dubois of Dan’s Cemetery Lettering in Barre, Vermont, refinished the bronze. Cleaning the bronze included grinding the surface to remove dirt and patina, a coat of bronze paint, then grinding the letters to let the finish shine.

“I think it’s beautiful,” Meltzer said. “It feels really good to finish this project, especially in time for Memorial Day.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or [email protected] She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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