From the Worcester NAACP branch:
The VFW Post 312 is calling out to Veterans and community members to support their efforts in seeking the assistance from the City to replace the Colored Citizens of Worcester Honor Roll monument.
Mr. Bonds will be speaking on behalf on the VFW Post 312 tonight March 29 before the Worcester City Council at 7 p.m. Bill Coleman has petitioned the City Council on this matter recently.
From James Bonds:
On Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. I am appearing before the Worcester City Council on behalf of VFW Post 312 to gain the Council support on replacing the honor roll that was erected and dedicated in 1943 and placed on the ground at Belmont and Clayton streets.
The honor roll was moved in 1959 to make room for interstate highway 290. The names on that honor roll were World War II Soldiers (The greatest generation).
I am asking for your support by coming to the Worcester City Council meeting [tonight]. Veterans please wear your cover.
I thank you in advance for your support.
From ICT contributing writer Ron O’Clair:
Worcester St. Patrick’s Day Parade photo: Ron O’Clair
My thoughts on this subject
By Ron O’Clair
I understand that the powers that be back in 1959 had to move the Memorial to run I-290 through the area where it stood, even though Clayton Street is no longer there. But why did they not put it up somewhere else?
That is the question I have and will be voicing at Worcester City Hall tonight at the Worcester City Council meeting. I believe the inaction was/is a blatant sign of disrespect for our fallen heroes of color who deserved the honor they received by having the memorial built by a grateful City of Worcester in the first place.
Nothing irritates this former staff sergeant more than to have fellow soldiers, airmen or naval personnel shown such discourtesy whether by intention or by oversight.
This is an egregious violation that needs to be rectified immediately by special order of the present City Council seated now, of which its newest member Khrystian E. King happens to be a person of color. I was pleased to have had an opportunity this past November to ask my own 580 city council candidate supporters to vote for King in lieu of candidate Juan Gomez, as I feel that Khrystian E. King may be the new blood we need on the city council to move Worcester into the future.
I hope Worcester City Councilor King will be at the forefront of a drive to rectify this slap in the face to our deceased veterans of color. They have been ignored since 1959. I will be right there with him.
We should determine exactly what happened to the original monument and find if it is stored away somewhere in some area of the City of Worcester gathering dust. We should restore it to its original glory and find a spot to erect it with the proper ceremonial honors being paid to the event.
Failing locating the original structure, we should commission a new monument and perhaps use this as an opportunity to have our own Worcester artisans involved in its conception, design and construction.
This is something we all need to get behind. We need to work together to show that we have learned something through the summer’s Department of Justice talks on race relations, of which I was a participant.
Why no one brought this up long ago is also something I will be inquiring about at tonight’s Worcester City Council meeting.
I salute the memory of all the citizens whose names belong on the monument. I wish to see them properly remembered for their service and sacrifices to the cause of freedom and democracy during the second World War when America stood fast in the face of evil, united against the tyranny of oppression from the Axis powers of that era in history, only after having been surprise-attacked on 07 DEC 1941 on the day that lives on in infamy.