Thermometer to Show Progress Toward War Memorial Fundraising Goal

The Wenham War Memorial had kicked its fundraising efforts into high gear, aiming for completion of the monument by fall 2013.

A “thermometer” will go up on the car barn in Wenham to show the progress toward the fundraising goal to pay for construction of the War Memorial.

The Wenham Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night unanimously approved the sign going up through March 31.

The goal is $197,000, Peter Hersee, chairman of the Wenham War Memorial Committee told Selectmen on Tuesday.

“We’re within about $85,000 or $86,000 of that goal,” he said, noting that this week about 60 letters went out to people the committee feels may be likely to “give significant funds.”

The thermometer will be similar to the one places there each year by the United Way to show the progress toward its fundraising goal. The United Way’s thermometer also received approval to go on the can barn lot, at the corner of Arbor and Main streets, when the board met on Tuesday.

The War Memorial Committee’s thermometer will be about four feet by four feet and have a red, white and blue border, according to committee member Howard Morong.

The current fundraising goal is for Phase I. Phase II is landscaping and “will be done as time and money allow,” according to the committee.

“All approvals are in place and the committee is moving forward with the next stage - fundraising to underwrite construction  - with a plan for completion and dedication in fall 2013,” the committee said in an announcement released over Veterans Day weekend.

The location and design of the monument had been a hot topic in Wenham, with extensive debate lasting for months. But in two votes - one to approve putting it on the car barn lot and another approving the design – the monument got the OK of Town Meeting voters.

The approved design is a permanent granite monument that will include a granite globe of the world and a sculpture of an eagle landing on the United States, signifying the return of American servicemen to their homes, according to the committee.

Veterans will have their names memorialized on it. The memorial has also been designed to accommodate the addition of names from current and future conflicts, according to the committee.

In its latest announcement, the committee said that “while we are all inundated with requests for donations to worthy causes, the Wenham War Memorial Committee hopes that you will agree that this is a little closer to home, as it involves veterans who include friends, neighbors and relatives who have served from Wenham.”

Checks can be made payable to the “Veteran’s War Memorial Gift Fund” and mailed to: Town of Wenham, War Memorial Fund, 138 Main St., Wenham, MA 01984.

Members of the Wenham War Memorial Committee are Hersee, Morong, Albie Dodge, John F. Perkins, Steven Kavanagh, Thomas Tanous, Bruce Blanchard, Dean Pedersen, Robert Blanchard and Bill Tyack.

For more information, contact Bruce Blanchard at water615289@gmail.com or 978-468-1771.

Gardner McCormick November 14, 2012 at 04:27 PM
While I still believe this memorial is way over the top and totally out of place in the center of Wenham, this plan for phasing in the construction of this idol is also not very transparent. Several points: 1. What if you don't raise the funds for Phase 1. What's the landscaping plan and why isn't it publicized? 2. What's phase 2 and how is is to be funded? More fundraising? 3. If you can't raise funds for construction of the monument itself, are we left with a barren piece of land on the corner of Arbor and Main? Where is the transparency in all of this? I think the town of Wenham got blindsided by this whole project by a small group of individuals who for whatever reason, need to see their names on something to honor their service. There are a number of us veterans living in Wenham that simply don't have the need for this self-gratification and would rather see funds raised for the future of our children not the deeds of the past.


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