Sunday, May 22, 2016

Massachusetts War Memorial Atop Mt. Greylock

The Massachusetts Veterans' War Memorial takes the form of a beacon of light on a 93 foot granite shaft that rises above the summit of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts.  It is said that the light can be seen for 70 miles.

The monument will be undergoing renovation during 2016, and is expected to reopen to visitors in 2017. In additional to structural repairs,accessibility will be improved.  It was first envisioned as a memorial to the soldiers of the Great War (WWI) and is now dedicated to all who served from Massachusetts in subsequent conflicts.

Funding for the monument was appropriated in 1930, after years of debate over the final location. It was opened to the public in 1932. An inscription on the walls of the interior rotunda reads:

Life is no life to him that dares not die If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields Sleep well, heroic souls, in silence sleep Lapped in the circling arms of kindly death Grim death has vanished, leaving in its stead The shining glory of the living dead.

The monument is located within the 12,500 acre Mount Greylock State Reservation, managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Vehicular access is permitted during summer months, either from Adams on the east or Lanesborough on the south. It is surrounded by 70 miles of hiking trails, including a 11.5 mile portion of the Appalachian Trail.

After driving past the signs for 30 years, I will certainly make a point to visit next summer when it reopens.  

Statements from the 2015 groundbreaking are here.

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