Mr. Bergman said last month that the latest plan is to add the missing names in a kiosk to be placed near the replica, which will include the history of the original honor roll and how the missing names came about.
Mayor Joseph M. Petty said the new memorial is a way #8220;of making it right.#8221; He pointed out that on the first day of the draft for World War I, 700,000 men of color signed up, but many were rejected because of their race. During World War II, 175,000 men of color served overseas, he said. They were treated as equals in France and Europe. But, when they returned home, they had to continue fighting for equality. The I-290 project, he said, not only destroyed the monument for soldiers of color but also displaced some of the poorest, most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods the city has ever seen.
#8220;My dad is for sure very happy to be here. It’s a miracle that he’s still here,#8221; Ms. Riley said as people began to gather around the structure. #8220;It is a very great day for the city of Worcester that we can all support this and to be here to honor the soldiers and the city.#8221;
The rededication ceremony and the unveiling of the new memorial is the culmination of at least four decades of efforts by members of the community and city officials to locate the original memorial and later to get a new one constructed. The Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO raised $15,000 for the replicated memorial, which was designed and constructed by students at Worcester Technical High School.
The memorial, erected in Lincoln Square at Lincoln and Belmont streets across from the Police Headquarters, is a replication of the #8220;Colored Citizens of Worcester Honor Roll#8221; that the local African-American community put up on Dec. 5, 1943, on nearby land donated by Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church.
WORCESTER – After a decades-long effort, members of the African-American community were pleased Thursday, the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to see the newly dedicated monument to their friends and family who served in World War II.
City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., a leading advocate for the new memorial, said it is a way for the city to uphold its solemn duty to remember the sacrifice and struggles of the city’s soldiers of color and to honor and preserve their memory.