One of my top priorities for the SBAWVC is that our priorities extend beyond the parade and that we look for other opportunities to benefit the community, especially with the goal of supporting veterans. Knowing this, SBAWVC member Kevin Conroy suggested that the council take up the initiative of refurbishing the USS Kearsarge Memorial in Marine Park in Southie, which was established in 1930 to honor navy sailors who served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I. The memorial has since gone into disrepair, with the concrete base in rough shape and the memorial’s plaque having disappeared years ago. I knew very little about this memorial, but after Kevin suggested it, we did some digging, and quickly realized how much this memorial has meant to the community throughout the years and how important it was that this memorial be brought back to its former glory. Caught in Southie did a terrific job recently of providing an in-depth look back at the memorial’s history, and its dedication in 1930. It is simply remarkable the history behind this memorial https://caughtinsouthie.com/features/history-lesson-kearsarge-memorial/.
With that, the SBAWVC decided to pursue a Community Preservation Act (CPA) grant through the City of Boston to refurbish the memorial, and our top priority the last few months has been putting the grant package together, ensuring we have DCR’s support since they own the land, that we have a concept for the refurbishment, and that we understand the history so that we can refurbish it right. It’s important to note, how key the support we received from Southie’s elected officials has been, with State Rep David Biele and State Senator Nick Collins providing a letter of support from the State House, and City Councilor Ed Flynn providing one from City Hall. I’m proud to say our CPA grant has been submitted and I am optimistic it is a project that is going to be funded. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as to how this all works out, but CPA grant or not, this memorial’s refurbishment is something we’re committed towards and we will make it happen.
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