Civil War Bench Dedication

Pictured from left to right: Lesley Gouin Dean, Elsie Bonney, Vicky Meyers, Sue Koffinger, Sally Sawyer

On July 10, 2011 five members of the historic organization Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War rededicated the first memorial bench to be placed at the entrance to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Arlington Street. The DUV was an Allied Order of the Grand Army of the Republic.  Boston hosted the encampments of Army four times.  In April of 1931, probably during one of these encampments,  a  DUV group placed the bench with a bronze marker and an inscription to their fathers on the back of the bench.   Several years ago the leg of the bench supporting the bronze was heavily damaged.  The Commonwealth Avenue Mall Committee was fortunate to be able to locate representatives of the group who paid for the beautiful restoration of the leg and other maintenance on this important bench.  In 1931 there were over 64 active “tents” with over 3400 member of the DUV in Massachusetts.  They visited schools, gave talks on local and US history and use and care of the flag; significance of patriot days, and other subjects.  They visited Soldier’s Homes, decorated graves on Memorial Day and held Flag Day exercises at Faneuil Hall.  They even financed the replacement of one of Old Ironsides Guns.  Today there are no remaining “tents” but DUV members, pictured here, came from neighboring states to rededicate the bench and see the handiwork of the bench conservators engaged by the Friends of the Public Garden.  The Officers of the DUV displayed flags and read from a traditional script for the dedication.  Full text is available from the Friends. In association with this restoration, the other three stone benches on the Mall were cleaned and sealed.  Thanks to the Dewart family and the Merwin family descendants for making this possible.

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