Last week, Mayor Tomas Menino and the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association, Inc. (PRVMSA) conducted a ground breaking ceremony at the site of the proposed Puerto Rican Veterans Memorial Monument, located at the corner of West Dedham and Washington Streets in Boston's South End.
The proposed project consists of a bronze monument representing a male and female U.S. soldier atop a granite foundation and includes bronze plaques, a plaza, flag poles, landscaping, and fencing. The concept has been illustrated by the well-known Boston sculptor Robert Shure, recipient of numerous commissions whose work stands at locations throughout New England and elsewhere.
Behind the project is the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association, Inc., a Massachusetts non-profit of U.S. military veterans and their supporters who have come together to honor men and women of Puerto Rican origin who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"Since the earliest days of our Republic, Puerto Ricans have played an integral part in securing the existence of the United States of America. We have participated in every war and conflict, from the Revolutionary War to our most recent conflicts in the Middle East," the organization said in a statement. "Our sacrifices for this country have meant the loss of life for many Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico’s losses are more per capita than any of the 50 states."
The PRVMSA has secured the endorsement of Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston City Council, an essential prerequisite to the realization of the project. A design and financial proposal has been accepted for consideration by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund.
The existing monument had been in place since 1999, but after years of pressure on its foundation the plaque slanted to the side. In 2009 a group of Puerto Rican Veterans composed of Jaime Rodriquez, Tony Molina, their friends and families established the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association with the goal to restore the site.
To donate to the project, visit the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association website.