Showing posts with label soldier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soldier. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Boston Globe: "On the streets of Watertown, a Black Civil War soldier tells the rest of the story"

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"In this pandemic year, reimagining theatrical performance means exploring not just the digital space but that infinitely roomy analog space known as the outdoors.

In any year, heightening theater’s relevance and immediacy means grappling with urgent social issues such as the kind of entrenched racial injustice that has spawned massive nationwide protests in 2020.

New Repertory Theatre tackles both the performative and thematic sides of that equation with its premiere of “The Charles W. Lenox Experience,” copresented with the Watertown Free Public Library and the Historical Society of Watertown. Scripted by local dramatist Ken Green and directed by Michael Ofori, it’s a solo play set in the 19th century that has the ongoing struggles of the 21st century very much on its mind.
The estimable Kadahj Bennett plays Lenox, a Black barber in Watertown who served in the Civil War with the storied 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, rising to the rank of sergeant. As Bennett leads patrons on a one-hour stroll to notable sites in and around Watertown Square, Lenox’s first-person narrative outwardly resembles one of those tourist-friendly guided expeditions.

But this is no anodyne history tour. Embedded throughout “The Charles W. Lenox Experience” are pointed reminders of how little the nation had done to deserve the service of Black soldiers — and how little it appreciated their sacrifice once they had helped to save it."

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Kadahj Bennett portrays Charles Lenox, a Watertown barber who enlisted in the Union army, in "The Charles W. Lenox Experience."New Repertory Theatre
Kadahj Bennett portrays Charles Lenox, a Watertown barber who enlisted in the Union army, in "The Charles W. Lenox Experience."New Repertory Theatre

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Hockomock Area YMCA Teamed Up with Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops to Collect Halloween Candy for Troops and Veterans

By virtue of families, non-profit groups, radio sponsorship and corporate philanthropy, the Hockomock Area YMCA is gratified to share results of the recent candy giveback spearheaded at the Franklin Y to aid and comfort the men, women and veterans of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Treats for Troops ran successfully and was a rewarding initiative for Brandi Jacobs, senior membership experience director at the Franklin Y—who launched the community-wide effort. “Many times, following Halloween, the Y gets inquiries about sharing extra candy with soldiers. The Y has historically been happy to do so, however shipping costs can add up and that can be an obstacle toward pulling off such a drive.”
an astonishing 2,258 pounds of candy–in 102 boxes
an astonishing 2,258 pounds
of candy–in 102 boxes

The Hockomock Area YMCA, with facilities in Franklin, Foxboro and North Attleboro, has 31,000 members as well as meaningful partnerships within the fifteen communities served. So when Jacobs enrolled on Halloween Day to become a Soldiers’ Angels drop-off site, she guessed there would be no shortage of donations. 

“In the end, our collective purpose to provide comfort to those who serve meant we would find a way to cover shipping costs and deliver donations where they would have the most impact. The fact that there is a national nonprofit, Soldiers’ Angels, that coordinates volunteers with the mission that no soldier goes unloved was instrumental in moving us in the right direction,” said Jacobs.

Shortly after sharing the drive’s goals and drop off locations, the Y received a call from radio host Ray Auger, intent on publicizing the drive over the 101.3 FM network. Donations following the November 8 radio interview with Jacobs poured in, including from the following: members of the YMCA, community members, Dell Technologies, Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School in Blackstone, Dudley Elementary School, and The Franklin Lion’s Club through their collection across Franklin public schools.

On November 19, an astonishing 2,258 pounds of candy–in 102 boxes–was loaded onto a truck headed to Stratton VAMC/Voluntary Service in Albany, NY. A sincere thank you goes out to Marine veteran Jeff Harris, owner of LBP Solutions of Foxboro, who offered to rent a truck and drive the candy to its destination.

Although the gesture of donating excess candy may seem small, it is a wonderful way to remind our men and women in the Armed Forces, as well as veterans of all eras, that we are all thankful for the services and sacrifices they have provided for our country and our families.

About Hockomock Area YMCA:Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

Our YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information, visit

About Soldiers’ Angels:Soldiers' Angels is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and the growing veteran population. Founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Soldiers' Angels "Angel" volunteers assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways. (Tax ID# 20-0583415). Learn more at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Franklin's Single Soldier

How many times have you gone by the Town Common and wondered why there are two Civil War monuments? 

There is one along Main St with the Gettysburg Address on a bronze plate

Civil War Memorial with Gettysburg Address
Civil War Memorial with Gettysburg Address

And then there is the tall one in the center and set back along the High St side of the Common.

Civil War Monument - single soldier
Civil War Monument - single soldier

It was 150 years ago this April 9, in a house at a dusty crossroads in rural Virginia, that the Civil War ended. Even all these decades later, that struggle remains, for better and for worse, the sovereign event in American history.
The article in Yankee Magazine goes on to talk about the single soldier monument that many New England commnities have. Franklin is one of them.

Civil War Monument - single soldier 1
Civil War Monument - single soldier 1

Civil War Monument - single soldier 1
Civil War Monument - single soldier 2

Civil War Monument - single soldier 3
Civil War Monument - single soldier 3

Hence, the unfailing presence all over our region of memorials to local men who served in the war, in particular the ubiquitous “Single Soldier,” a freestanding figure of a Civil War infantryman cast in stone or bronze, equipped with the familiar kepi-style cap, a coat or cape, a cartridge box and bayonet on his belt, and a rifle. If you live in New England, then at least one of these soldiers is your neighbor.

Read the full article here

For more about the life and times of our Franklin neighbors