May 23, 2007 - There will be a new look to the All Wars Memorial that sits between Main Street and Common Street next year. At the annual Southborough Town Meeting, the voters approved funds. The $25,000 will come from funding from the Southborough Community Preservation Act Historic Reserve Fund. The idea hatched when Peter and other veterans were discussing the memorial and the improvements that should be made to it. That idea evolved into the current planned restoration work. Veteran Peter Phaneuf has been the main force for the local veteran groups in leading the charge to get this accomplished. Mr. Phaneuf proceeded to get architectural plans for the veterans’ conception of what the renovations should entail and look like. Next step was to seek the funding for the project. They submitted an application to the Southborough Community Preservation Committee and met several times with that committee. It was then brought forward to the ATM where it passed overwhelmingly.
The original All Wars monument was spearheaded by Don Banks and other veterans from town at the 1969 Southborough Annual Town meeting. The memorial lists the wars from WWI and up. All and any veteran that enlisted or served from the Town of Southborough would have their name inscribed on it. But over the years the bushes have become overgrown the rock wall and wrought railings have prevented handicapped veterans to easily access the monument.
Under the new plan there will be a brick and Boston cobble base (similar to that at the Civil War Monument) and a new-bricked handicapped ramp will be built. In addition there will be granite pavers and squares that will be available to engrave Veteran names. Several granite benches will serve as seating to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the men and women. A granite podium will be built just off to the side of the Memorial. A plaque attached to the podium will have the words from the poem In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. This poem has always been read at every year’s events at the Memorial and holds deep meaning to many of the Veterans. The veterans will purchase the materials for the project with the money funded and then a contract for placement of the material will be put out to bid. Much of the labor in prepping the All Wars Memorial will be done with volunteer labor. The drawings of the project are stunning and I am sure the All Wars Memorial when completed will be just as stunning.