Clock ceremony, parade set for Sept. 18
The Veterans Memorial Clock is set to chime again for the first time on Sept. 18 at the conclusion of a ceremony rededicating the clock near the Main Street location where it was first erected 67 years ago.
This ceremony will take place rain or shine, organizers said.
“There were about 1,000 people at the first dedication and we hope to see 1,000 people turn out to support veterans on this day that’s for them,” committee chairman Rick Roberts said.
Roberts said the committee is putting together an event to acknowledge the community effort and spirit that went into restoring the clock as well as the veterans the clock is dedicated to.
“It’s obvious that’s what was on the community’s mind at that time and that thought is still there,” Roberts said, referring to the two-phrase motto on the clock: “Lest We Forget. Those Who Served.”
Donations continue to come in to the clock fund, which will go toward future upkeep of the memorial clock, he said. In 1943, in the middle of World War II, Granville raised the equivalent of $35,000 to purchase the clock.
Granville electronics engineer John Freed came forward and volunteered his expertise and donated considerable time to bring the clock back to complete working order following a trip to Normandy with his own WWII veteran father, Dick Freed.
“It’s a nice accomplishment, a nice achievement and we want to celebrate it. We hope to see a lot of people come out – it should be a good day for Granville,” Roberts said.
The parade and ceremony will acknowledge all veterans, but specifically the World War II veterans to whom the clock was initially dedicated.
Committee member John “Hector” Norton continues to gather names of WWII veterans from the area who plan to attend the ceremony. A large tent will be set up on Main Street at the ceremony site to provide cover for the veterans regardless of the weather, Roberts said.
Roberts said all veterans are welcome to take part in the parade; they just need to inform organizers they would like to participate. Roberts can be reached at the Granville Village Hall at 642-2640.
The rededication celebration begins at 5 p.m. as the parade steps off from the parking lot of Granville Elementary School on Quaker Street.
The parade will move down Quaker Street onto West Main Street before ending on Main Street at Church Street. At some point along the parade route a reviewing stand, complete with an emcee, will be placed, likely on Main Street.
Roberts said organizers are working on bringing additional elements to the parade, including National Guard units and marching bands.
“We’re getting good participation from groups as well as the school,” he said.
At the conclusion of the parade the rededication ceremony will take place on Main Street at the clock site starting at 6 p.m. It will conclude sometime after 7 p.m. with the unveiling of the clock.
The committee is seeking photos of local veterans, World War II and others, for a planned video presentation during the ceremony. “We want this to be a reflection of the local veterans to have it be meaningful to local people,” Roberts said. The committee also seeks old photos of the clock, particularly those showing it attached to its original perch on the Washington County National Bank.
Roberts said the clock is due to be returned to its location outside TD Bank sometime soon. The clock will be covered with a concealing drape that will be removed only as the rededication ceremony comes to a close.
Point of Contact:
World War II veterans can contact John Norton in Granville at 642-1564 or by sending a letter to John Norton 21 Quaker St., Granville, N.Y. 12832. E-mail contact can be made through the Granville Village Clerk’s Office at Granville@adelphia.net.