Soldiers Monument, Wilmot Flat

The Wilmot Historical Society will host an anniversary event in honor of Wilmot’s 101-year-old Soldiers Monument beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 29 on the memorial grounds at the intersection of Monument Place and Village Road in Wilmot Flat. Although the Soldiers Monument has the date 1919 inscribed on it, it was actually dedicated on May 30, 1920. The activities planned for the afternoon will take place rain or shine and constitute the Town of Wilmot’s annual Memorial Day observance as well. 

The program will include live patriotic music; the Pledge of Allegiance; a rifle volley and “Taps” salute performed by American Legion Post #40; recognition of military servicemen and women; and speeches on the history of both Memorial Day and the monument itself.  

Parking will be available on one side of the street as posted, at the Town Green on Kearsarge Valley Road, and elsewhere as signed. Per Covid precautions, social distancing and mask wearing will be practiced. Please bring your own lawn chairs and bug repellent. All are welcome to attend. 

The sale of granite pavers surrounding the base is a fundraising project that supports the maintenance of the Soldiers Monument. There are still blank pavers available in both the 12” x 12” and 4” x 8” sizes, which can be purchased for $100 and $50, respectively. The messages on the pavers vary. Some name the veterans who are dear to them, some memorialize or honor families who love this town, some express their gratitude to veterans or to our town. Order blanks may be obtained from the Selectmen’s Office, the Library, or from the WHS web site <wilmothistoricalsociety.org>. 

According to historical records, the first national celebration of Memorial Day, which was originally known as Decoration Day, took place May 30, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery where both Confederate and Union soldiers are buried. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.  

For more information you may email info@wilmothistoricalsociety.org or call Liz at 603-496-4883. 

Bill Chaisson
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