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Orange soldiers memorials refurbished with Legion donation

  • Refurbished memorial placard on East River St. Recorder/Paul Franz

    Refurbished memorial placard on East River St. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Memorial placard at corner of South Main and West River Sts.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Memorial placard at corner of South Main and West River Sts. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Veteran and Trustees of the Soldiers Memorials member George C. F. Willard with refurbished memorial placard on East River Street in Orange.  <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)

    Veteran and Trustees of the Soldiers Memorials member George C. F. Willard with refurbished memorial placard on East River Street in Orange.
    (Recorder/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Refurbished memorial placard on East River St. Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Memorial placard at corner of South Main and West River Sts.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Veteran and Trustees of the Soldiers Memorials member George C. F. Willard with refurbished memorial placard on East River Street in Orange.  <br/>(Recorder/Paul Franz)

ORANGE — A $10,000 donation has been received by the Trustees of the Soldiers Memorials to help fund its veterans refurbishment projects in town.

The donation by American Legion Post 172, will go toward the trustees’ restoration, and in a few cases, replacement of WWI memorial plaques displayed in various town locations. According to trustee Jim Cornwell, the bronze, rectangular markers will be sandblasted and the raised lettering re-painted.

Ed Bezio, president of the Legion post, says the gift was given to the Trustees of the Soldiers Memorial during a gathering at Post 172 in mid-June. Cornwell says the trustees, being relatively new within the past few years, do not receive any appropriations from the town or state. He says all financing for the organization comes from donations, and that the gift from the Legion is very much appreciated.

The funding came about when Cornwell was asked by the Legion, where he is also a member, about projects the trustees were working on. He informed them of the refurbishment plans. Having made a smaller donation last year, the Legion decided to offer support this year, on a larger scale.

The restoration of the memorials is just one project the trustees are responsible for. The group maintains many veteran memorials throughout the town and is responsible for the Wall in Memorial Park that displays veteran names. The six trustees includes three veterans and three nonveterans, all being elected positions with the exception of Board of Selectmen chairman and veteran George C.F. Willard, who was appointed to serve with the organization. Donations in support of their work can be sent to Trustees of the Soldiers Memorial c/o Orange Town Hall, 6 Prospect St., Orange, MA 01364.

On Twitter, follow Tracey Prohaska Carroll at @RecorderTCP

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