The Women’s Military Memorial Committee joined by more than fifty community members including local veterans and their families as well as representatives from the New Bedford delegation — United States Congressman William Keating, State Representatives Antonio Cabral and Paul Schmid, New Bedford Mayor Jonathan Mitchell and the majority of the New Bedford City Council — unveiled the official design for the new “Women in Military Service” monument during a press conference yesterday afternoon held at the Fort Taber~Fort Rodman Military Museum. The new monument will be installed in the City of New Bedford to honor all women in military service from the Revolutionary War to the present.
The design for the new memorial was created by PJ Mitchell, graphic designer at Poyant Signs, Inc. The all of design services for the project were donated by Poyant Signs.
“The Women’s Military Memorial Committee would like to thank Richard Poyant, President of Poyant Signs, for generously donating the design services of his graphic design team to work with our committee in coming up with this masterpiece,” said Kathy Luiz, committee member. “A very special thank you to PJ Mitchell, the graphic designer at Poyant Signs, who dedicated so much of her time and talent to this project — from the five initial designs, through the many revisions, to the exceptional layout that we have shared with you today. We are truly grateful for your support of this effort and bringing to life our vision for this new memorial.”
The design incorporates an image of servicewomen in uniform representing the five branches of the United States military which was originated on the 1997 stamp issued by the United States Postal Service to honor the millions of women, past and present, who have served our country with such dedication, courage and patriotism in times of conflict and in times of peace. The military seals found at the base of the monument represent each branch of the military — reinforcing the reality that women have served and continue to serve the United States of America in all branches of the armed forces.
The inscription on the front of the monument: “Honoring the women in Military Service from the revolutionary war to the present” was selected to be inclusive of all women who have served, are serving and may serve our country in future times of need. The inscription found on the back of the monument: “She is your mother, sister, wife, daughter, friend” is a reminder of the many roles a woman in military service may hold in addition to her role as a servicewoman in the United States armed forces.
The rose colored granite found at the base of the monument was specifically selected to provide a slightly feminine touch to the overall design. Tootell Monument Works will construct the new memorial.
“Matt Albanese and his grandfather Robert Albanese have worked closely with our committee to meet our proposed specifications,” said Luiz. “They are committed to providing the highest quality materials while matching our color, finish and design requests. We are confident that Tootell will provide a final product that will justly honor all women in military service; past, present and future.”
The cost to manufacture and install the new memorial is $33, 450.
“Our committee is confident that we will receive the support from this community that we need to accomplish this goal,” said Priscilla Louro-Fonseca, past Commander of District Nine American Legion and committee member.
The Women’s Military Memorial Fund has been established at St. Anne Credit Union located at 93 Union Street in New Bedford. Donations can be mailed directly to St. Ann Credit Union or deposited directly at the bank itself. Please note that there is only one location for St. Ann Credit Union – not to be confused with St. Anne’s Credit Union.
“We hope that you will consider supporting this project and the courageous, selfless, and loving women it represents,” said Louro-Fonseca.
The proposed location for the new monument is at Fort Taber Park, in the South end of New Bedford. The committee is in the process of receiving approval on the proposed location from the City of New Bedford’s Park Board and the National Park Service. The committee hopes to have the new monument installed in time for ribbon-cutting celebration on Veterans Day 2013.