SHIRLEY — The Civil War statue on the town common that was beheaded by vandals last week should be whole again for Veterans Day. The head has been recovered and is now safely in police custody.
Erected in 1891 to honor town residents who served and died for the Union during the Civil War, the granite statue depicts an infantryman standing at parade rest. On its base are the names of Shirley soldiers who gave their lives to “suppress the rebellion.”
One set of names lists those who died during the conflict; another lists those who died after the war ended. A third list — added later — commemorates those who died after the statue was erected.
Other than a broken hat brim from a past mishap, the statue stood proudly intact until last week, when its head was discovered missing.
Responding to pleas from veterans, town officials and the police put the word out that if the head was returned, no questions would be asked and that calls could be anonymous.
On Saturday, March 27, the police received a call. A woman reported the statue’s head was on the stone wall at the cemetery on the common, where it was recovered by police.
Police Chief Gregory Massak called Town Administrator Kyle Keady with the good news Sunday morning.
“We have our statue’s head back,” Keady said. The next step is to find a monument company to repair it.
— M.E. Jones