Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who Was David Miller?

Fall River asked this question in 1974 during the South Main Street reconstruction project when particular attention was paid to the giant boulder lying in the middle of the project. Part of the answer they found was something we all now know: David Miller is a war hero who died, serving his country, in a Japanese prison camp after surviving the Bataan Death March.

The rest of the answer they received is as follows...

David Miller's grandfather donated the land immediately adjacent to (and possibly including) the location of the square to the city to build a roadway.

The boulder in the article/picture below was the original monument dedicated to Miller in the 1950's. It still sits in the square, however, it is now being used as a back drop to the McGovern monument rather than its original purpose, a monument to David Miller.

(boulder monument barely peeking out from behind the McGovern monument)


Despite major South Main Street reconstruction in the area, the boulder monument to Miller was guaranteed preservation by the state department of public works in 1974(in the article below).

(Herald News article 8-15-74 *click on pictures to enlarge)



In 1991 the city rededicated the square to Miller with the addition of a plaque.

(Herald News article 6-17-91)

(Herald News article 6-19-91)

History seems to be repeating itself. In 1974, just 20 years after the boulder monument was dedicated to Corporal Miller, the city had already started to forget. The South Main Street reconstruction project sparked renewed interest in Miller's story and heroism. Now, a mere 17 years after Miller Square was rededicated the city government is encouraging us to forget by moving/overshadowing/renaming Corporal Miller's monument. Lest we forget........

Given our history of forgetting David Miller, I would suggest that the only sufficient remedy is to remove the McGovern monument from the square and replace it with a new monument to Miller that tells the story of his life, death, and the reason that monument is there so in another 20 years we will not have to again ask "Who Was David Miller?"

19 comments:

FRC said...

Does the boulder still have the "Miller" inscription?

The 1974 article says that the stone marker had the family name carved into it.

shamrock said...

Excellent question! The boulder does not have an inscription that is currently visible. I'm not familiar with how long it takes a rock carving to wear away from natural causes but it seems like it should still be there after 50 years. My, perhaps paranoid, thought is that they city rolled the boulder over to hide the carving. The boulder also looks like it has been worked a little, although I think it is more likely they would roll it over before they would buff out the carving.

I would love to roll that thing over and find out.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the rock part of the miller monument? I thought the reasoning behind moving it was the upkeep but not by the city? Well that would make mr botelho the next of kin responsible for taking care of both the rock and monument wouldn't it???????

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact the marine corp reserves would be a good group to contact about this as well.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact the marine corp reserves would be a good group to contact about this as well.

Jason said...

I'm not sure what delusions you are under. But the responsibility of the upkeep of the square and monument is on the city, not the next of kin. The city designated it as a memorial, and thus took over the upkeep of the property and monument.

However, if you would like to respond with something more coherent, I would be interested in figuring out exactly what the heck you were talking about.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who is working toward any positive effort to correct this situation and return Miller Square to a place of reverence.

I really find it hard to believe that the family of Mr. McGovern, let alone the City of Fall River, has allowed this situation to continue.

I have read that the Memorial Garden looks much better now since the "improvements", and that is great. However, it seems to me from reading what history I can find on the Internet, that it is MILLER GREEN, a very appropriate place to honor our veterans and fallen heroes.

There must be another location in your fair city where memorials to private citizens can be placed.

Anonymous said...

A cemetary is where most cities put giant headstone monuments to private citizens.

puck said...

This great comment was posted by eastvan on the Daily Koz thread http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/12/14/204952/87 about the Correia/Casey desecration of Miller Green:

Their struggle is best described by Gen Wainwright in his surrender message to Washington as he arranged to meet with the enemy...

"With broken heart and head bowed in sadness, but not in shame....."

The only shame is that cast by the tiny little men in a safe town who likely sold out for a whole lot less than 30 pieces of silver.

bigsam27 said...

Shamrock - Have you forwarded this material to the McGoverns?

nelson said...

Has anyone contacted John Stossel from ABC's show 20/20? He made Bob Correia look like a fool (I know that is not hard to do) a few months ago, when he interviewed him about the Mixed Martial Arts gym on Shove St. This would be a great story for John to follow up on what Mayor Bob Correia is doing in the city.

Maybe shamrock or jason could contact him... Or maybe all of us should email him ...

His email address is: JohnStossel@abcnews.com

Anonymous said...

Jason, what I was sarcastically implying was that the next of kin can roll that rock over to look for the family name since the city has all but put the responsibility for that the miller memorials upkeep on the family !!!

Jason said...

Anon 17 December, 2008 13:19

Thank you for your clarification. I agree, they perhaps should. However, it may or may not have even been written on it, and if it were it may have faded.

However, I take back my snide comments to you, and redirect them to the idiots who perpetrated this on us.

Jason said...

Nelson, Mr Stossel has been contacted. Please also contact him yourself, so that there are multiple people asking him to cover this.

shamrock said...

bigsam27 -
I haven't forwarded this information to the McGoverns yet, I was hoping things would be resolved without further info.

Nelson -
John Stossel is the perfect guy to cover this story! I've sent emails out to numerous media sources and each time linked the Stossel interview to show how "camera friendly" Bob is. I dislike Bill O'Reilly but I sent the email to him too. I think he would make an excellent interviewer on this as well, because sometimes you have to fight jackass with jackass.

Wendy said...

I have contacted Mr. Stossel and several other national media outlets. Hopefully, one of them, or better yet, several of them will follow up with an investigation which will lead to a flood of donations to restore the name Miller Green and give it the facelift it so richly deserves. Put me at the top of list to donate--I'll watch your local paper on line for an address to send my check in honor of my Dad!

It would seem that, if more Americans were given the opportunity to weigh in on this situation, it would remove the underlying accusations of local political motives and sour grapes. Most of us cannot vote in your State, let alone your City.

Some people may honestly feel that it is time to "give it a rest", but in my heart, I cannot get over the feeling that this is a matter of honor. I salute you, Cpl. Green.

Wendy said...

Please forgive my mistake in my post above. It should read, "I salute you, Cpl. Miller." Cpl. Green was my friend who died in Viet Nam. I salute him, as well.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, thanks for joining our discussion of this travesty. We'll try make this right for Cpl. Miller and, by extension, for your dad and Cpl. Green.

puck said...

For anyone who heard the mayor continue to make a fool of himself in his latest PR piece on WSAR, you'll enjoy FRC's post about the facts getting in the way of Bob's lies about Cpl. Miller Green. http://frc-fallrivercommunity.blogspot.com/