Salute to Marlborough Veterans

Begun in 2008, this event was created by the Historical Society in recognition of the contributions made by all Marlborough veterans and is based around the artifacts, including uniforms, pictures, posters, letters, and a scrapbook (see below), as well as other items donated to the Society over the last several years.

The event was held Veterans Day weekend in November of 2008 and that weekend as well as on Veterans Day in 2009.   (There has been no decision made about holding this event in 2010.  If you are interested in donating materials, time, or money, or have other questions about the event, please let us know.)


The largest parts of the exhibit were reproductions from a homemade scrapbook that contained 855 WWII service announcements clipped from the Marlborough Enterprise.  Ruth W. Colena, formerly of 23 Shawmut Avenue, who served on the home front as a Gray Lady in the Red Cross, created the album, and Nancy Ahlgren Colena, Ruth’s daughter-in-law, found the album and donated it to the Society in 2008.  

After months of work by Society volunteers, more than 1,000 photos of veterans from World War II were gathered and nearly 2,300 names identified.

Our thanks to Marlborough's American Legion Akroyd Houde Post 132 and to Marlborough's Italian American Veteran's Club Post 45 for helping underwrite this event, and to all who made donations and purchases at the event in support of the society's collection and special programs such as this.

Reaction, news, and photos

Wonderful tribute to our veterans . . . Great display . . . Wonderful effort . . . Makes you feel like a part of history . . . Excellent . . . Quite an impact on our 9 year old. . . . Very sentimental . . . Breathless . . . Thank you.  God bless. . . . Job well done . . . Terrific . . . Very impressive . . . Moving and heartwarming . . . Absolutely magnificent . . . Thanks for the memories . . . I appreciate all of the efforts of the group putting on this display. . . . Wonderful memorial . . . Unbelievable . . . Wonderful tribute to our veterans . . . Thanks for remembering.
-- Comments from the guest book at the inaugural event.

News articles about the inaugural event:  Marlborough Exhibit Brings WWII Images to Life  and  Pictures Tell the Story of Military Service  (Metrowest Daily News) and "Salute to Veterans" Exhibit on Display (Community Advocate).

The photos below were taken on November 8, 2008.

Consulting the index compiled by the Historical Society with nearly 2,300 names of men and women who served in World War II.

The center aisle of the exhibit with enlargements from the album.

Navy veteran looking at enlargements of scrapbook pages with service announcements.

Display of uniforms, posters, and newspapers from many wars.

Society Trustee Cliff Avey (on right) talks to John Noble and his wife.

The album and other memorabilia in display case.

From left: Society volunteers Bob Kane, Pauline Smith, and Glenn Foley, trustees; event chairman, Jack Gracey, curator and past president; and, Alan Chamberlain, member.       

Not pictured: Cliff Avey, Peggy Kelly, Peggy Ayers, and Lee Wright.  

Glenn Foley scanned the album, recorded the 855 names in the announcements, and created the large-scale reproductions.  Cliff Avey (not pictured) went through paper records to identify hundreds of other veterans from World War II and pulled their photos from the Society's photo archives.   Together they created the most comprehensive database of Marlborough's WWII veterans and compiled the more than 1,000 images that were on display.

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