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Town readies for Doughboy’s return

Sarah Harrington

(3/2016) If all goes well, the next edition of this paper will feature a front-page photo of the "Doughboy" standing proudly on its pedestal at the west end of town.

At the February 1st town meeting, Mayor Don Briggs gave a status update on the statue’s repairs and hinted that if all goes according to plan the statue will be back early to mid-March.

In preparation for its return, Town Commissioner Glenn Blanchard invited residents and commissioners to use the return of the "Doughboy" as a way to begin the events honoring the centennial of World War I. Blanchard explained that it would be a great chance for Emmitsburg to explain the role Emmitsburg played in World War I.

Blanchard suggested that the town create and use explanatory signage, similar to those that the local battlefields use, such as Gettysburg, and add a second plaque next to the doughboy that explains the significance of the "Doughboy" along with reasons why the names of "colored" troops are segregated.

The proposal by town Commissioner Glenn Blanchard to add a second plaque next to the Doughboy acknowledging the special role "colored" troops played in the war met with lukewarm support from fellow council members, and was outright rejected by local veterans groups that attended the meeting.

Fred Wood spoke on behalf of Emmitsburg’s Francis X. Elder American Legion Post 121. Wood stated that he did not see the need for a second plaque but believed the "Colored" soldiers could be honored in another way for their service since they had to endure segregation in their lives.

Gene Lingg, representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6658, echoed Wood’s comment. According to Lingg, members of the Veteran group were uncertain why a second plaque was being discussed. He argued that "Since that was the culture and history of the time, the plaque should stay the way it is."

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