High winds that blew through Natick over the weekend took down a white-painted wooden flagpole at an historic site in South Natick located at the traffic circle area in front of Fire Department Station 2 and adjacent to the Eliot Church. It didn’t take long for on-duty firefighters to walk the 30 feet from the station and chainsaw the pole into sections in order to clear the roadway.
A central part of that area is a kiosk that lists the names of 122 men and women under the heading “In The Armed Services.”
Given the loss of the flagpole at the important historic spot, now seems like the perfect time to refurbish the site. We remember eight or so years ago when a young man planted a garden beneath the kiosk, perhaps as a scouting or senior project. The hostas he put in are still going strong. However, the names behind the glass of the kiosk are faded, and could use someone with good handwriting to restore them. Also, the list brings up more questions than it answers. Who are these 122 service members? Did they serve in particular conflicts? Some clarification would be a welcome educational addition.
The spot is also home to a boulder that commemorates Puritan preacher John Eliot (born 1604, died 1690). A plaque affixed to the rock, which was undamaged by the falling flagpole, says, “In reverent memory of John Eliot, lover of God, lover of men, seeker of the Christian Commonwealth, who on this spot preached to his friends the Indians in their own tongue the mercies and the laws of the eternal.”