monument

The special lighting display at the Bennington Monument to show support for Ukraine has been extended indefinitely.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BENNINGTON — The blue and gold lighting at the Bennington Battle Monument to honor Ukraine will continue past a July 1 deadline for its removal.

“The illumination to support Ukraine has been extended indefinitely,” State Historic Preservation Officer Laura Trieschmann said Thursday in an email.

The lighting, mounted to show support for Ukraine after the nation was attacked in February by Russian forces, originally was scheduled to extend from April 18 through May 26.

But that was amended to July 1 after lobbying by local officials and area lawmakers of the Division for Historic Preservation, which operates the monument historic site, and the governor’s office.

Rep. Mary Morrissey, R-Bennington, said at the time she was pleased with that decision but would oppose removing the lighting in July unless the war is over by then.

Morrissey said Thursday she is pleased with the extension.

“I am happy it will be able to continue,” she said, “yet I hope that the war will end soon. That doesn’t appear likely.”

LIKE BENNINGTON

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

Morrissey said she’s also been continually struck by the similarities between Ukraine’s battle against a superpower nation and the British colonies’ war for independence.

“This is like what Bennington went through,” she said.

The 306-foot monument, dedicated in 1891, commemorates a battle that took place nearby in what is today Walloomsac, N.Y. A contingent of mostly mercenary troops from German principalities under Gen. John Burgoyne’s invading British army marched on Bennington, expecting to confiscate military and other supplies stored at the monument site.

But on Aug. 16, 1777, colonial troops and militia, including members of the locally based Green Mountain Boys, routed the invaders and chased them back into New York. That was about two months before Burgoyne’s entire army surrendered following the Battles of Saratoga.

SPECIAL LIGHTING

The state retained Kirick Engineering Associates of Williston to identify options for altering the exterior lighting system, which has illuminated the monument since 2003.

Custom colored lens adapters, produced by Lawrence Ribbecke Glass Studio, were fitted on the existing lights with metal frames produced by Conant Metal and Light.

Prior to activating the special lighting, the state also had to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, because the obelisk stands about two miles from the William H. Morse Airport.

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com

Reporter/editor

Jim Therrien reports for the three Vermont News and Media newspapers in Southern Vermont. He previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Berkshire Eagle, the Bennington Banner, the Springfield Republican, and the former North Adams Transcript.


TALK TO US

If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us.
We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.