Sunday, June 01, 2014

Northfield, Connecticut: 'May we never forget'

A Bible phrase above the name of our 16th president on the south side of the monument.

                PANORAMA: Fire trucks, little girls with flowers, Cub Scouts -- the event 
            was classic small-town USA. (Click at upper right for full-screen experience.)
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On a sun-splashed Sunday morning, residents of the Litchfield County town of Northfield, Conn., did what they have done nearly every year since 1876: honor their veterans at a Civil War memorial on the village green. It was quintessential small-town America, with speeches by politicians, fire trucks, music from a fife & drum corps, little girls with flowers, an Eagle Scout's reading of the Gettysburg Address, a wreath-laying ceremony and a parade to the town cemetery, followed by a picnic across the road at a small park next to a Little League field.

The only missing element was Norman Rockwell to document the event on canvas.

This year's program held more meaning than most previous events, coming on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cold Harbor in which two Northfield soldiers died. Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery corporals Apollos Morse, a 20-year-old son of a farmer, and Joseph Camp,  the 22-year-old son of a doctor, are among the nine soldiers with Northfield ties whose names are etched on the brownstone monument.

Dedicated in 1866, the monument is one of the oldest Civil War monuments in the country -- and one of the most special. Just above the raised letters "Lincoln" on the south side are the words "That The Generations To Come Might Know Them," a phrase borrowed from the Bible.

Perhaps with those words in mind, a local pastor made note Sunday of the sacrifice of soldiers such as Morse and Camp. "Although the names may fade with the passing of generations," Gary Freimuth said during the invocation, "may we never forget what they have done."

Northfield's Civil War memorial was dedicated in 1866, making it one of the oldest in the country.
Private Hiram Cooley and two officers died in  battle in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
A wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil War monument capped the event in Northfield, Conn. ...
,,, and afterward,  this flower was left at the base of the monument.

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