A Medford memorial—better late than never.
We notice in the design of the new city hall of Medford
a memorial of the soldiers and sailors who have served our country in its wars.
Without venturing any criticism on the artistic merits of the same, we wish to say, ‘It is well, and such recognition should long ago have been made in our public square.’
was not, in one way, remiss in her duty in the matter, for within a year after the close of the civil war, the old town erected a sepulchral monument in the silent city of Oak Grove
, bearing the names of fortythree ‘Medford Volunteers who sacrificed their lives in defence of the Union
It was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on September 6, 1866.
had then no local paper to make note of the event, and to which we might now refer.
A few programs of the exercises may have been preserved.
The publisher of Medford
's history of twenty years later inserted in his work a wood-cut of the monument, [p. 79]
but made no reference to it in the text.
But that a former editor of the Register made note of it (Vol.
IX, p. 33), reproducing the program, inscriptions and portions of the addresses then made, we should have remained in ignorance thereabout.
On that occasion Medford
's historian, Rev. Charles Brooks
, made the address, in which he spoke of the lessons the monument would teach to posterity, when the storms of a century should have blackened its surface.
He also said, ‘Fifty years hence let the hoary-headed soldier come and kneel in prayer as he calls to mind the young friend who fell at his side, and here let the aged mother come, to read the name of her patriot son.’
He spoke also of the lessons for the historian, the poet, and the statesman.
But it is doubtful if many of these visit this memorial, save as the everdecreasing ranks of veteran comrades do so on Memorial Day. The monument itself is beginning to feel the tooth of time, and its inscription, none too legible, is seen but by few.
Fifty years have passed, and we are writing on September 6, the anniversary day. It had been in our thought for the Historical Society to take some formal notice of this day, on the same spot where Mr. Brooks
' words were spoken, and in presence of such Grand Army veterans as might be gathered for such occasion.
The pressure of other important matters has precluded this, but we think it both timely and fitting to thus call attention in our columns to this event in Medford
's history that occurred a half century since.
It seems eminently fitting that the new memorial we have mentioned should find place in the designing of the new civic structure that must serve for many years to come, and the names of those who gave up their lives in our country's service be there inscribed in enduring bronze.
In our public square, they will be read by many, and such memorial will there teach lessons of patriotism that the memorial erected by the former generation does not and cannot do.