Local singer and songwriter Dee Reilly provided the musical and vocal talents during the flag raising ceremony.
Phil and Kathy Cambo of Northern Tree have made a dream come true for Paul and David Basile with the installation of a flagpole at the original location of the V for Victory in Forest Park. Paul and Dave were instrumental in advocating for the site to once again become a beacon of remembrance for those who fought so bravely for our country. The Cambos donated the 85-foot flagpole, made from a transmission line pole, which has been installed to acknowledge the past planting of hemlock trees that originally shaped the V.
Over the past two years, the Park Commission requested research on the original planting and voted to have an informational panel installed at the Phaneuf Education Center. The panel, describing the historical importance of this planting, will now ensure that future generations are aware of this former visual victory planting and the reason for the flag flying high on the hillside overlooking picturesque Porter Lake. As part of the Tuesday ceremony, the city and the Basile Family will honor all Veterans who have served and sacrificed their lives for our country.
Mayor Sarno states, “The City is honored to recognize the heroism of our Veterans. This flagpole installed off Porter Lake Drive will be a constant reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made by so many men and women for our country and the importance of never taking our freedom for granted. We must continue to honor all of our military service personnel, first responders, and civic leaders who serve our country and local communities on a daily basis. I want to thank PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan, HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Veterans Services Director Tom Belton and our Park Commissioners for their work in making this ceremony possible. I would also like to thank the Cambo family, whose allegiance to Springfield has been tremendous over the years and I want them to know that their generosity does not go unnoticed.”
PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan said, “I want to thank Phil and Kathy Cambo for their continued commitment to the City of Springfield. Phil heard of this situation a year ago and called offering, “How Can I Help?” I outlined the need for a towering 85-foot flagpole and he said, “Consider it done.” We are so proud to raise the flag once again at the former hemlock stand. I also want to thank Paul and Dave Basile for their commitment and for reviving the memory of the V for Victory planting in Forest Park. Our Park personnel worked with officials from the U.S. Forest Service to find the original location of the flagpole that marked the V for Victory historical landmark. It was decided that the Porter Lake shoreline at the Phaneuf Education Center is the most advantageous viewing point of the new flagpole. This is an appropriate venue as every child that attends the ECOS program will now learn about the V for Victory planting and the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces during WWII that fought for freedom throughout the world.”
HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris stated, “Springfield is extremely proud of our brave and dedicated veterans. I want to thank Mayor Sarno, Parks Director Patrick Sullivan, Veterans Services Director Tom Belton, the Park Commissioners and the Cambo family and Norther Tree for their continued support of our veterans and their families. It is important to honor the memory and legacy of our veterans and this flag pole is a special addition to our V for Victory monument.”
Phil Cambo added, “The most important thing we can do every day is honor our Veterans. I am so proud of our staff at Northern Tree who assisted Kathy and I on the design of the pole and modified a 100-foot transmission pole to create this beautiful tribute to honor the original V for Victory planting. We are a proud American company that realizes that freedom comes with ultimate sacrifices made by so many. We hope the public takes the time to visit Porter Lake on Memorial Day and see the flag flying and to review the informational panel while reflecting on the servicemen and women who have ensured that our rights and freedoms are preserved.”