Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: SWHC), a leader in firearm manufacturing and design, today announced the launch of initiatives to honor and support the community’s veterans and military families and to pay tribute to Springfield’s fallen heroes.
During a press conference at Smith & Wesson’s Springfield headquarters, and joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, the company unveiled plans to fund and oversee the repair and restoration of the historic Roosevelt Avenue Veteran’s Memorial flagpole which is located on a roadway median directly in front of the Smith & Wesson campus. The flagpole, which serves as part of a Veteran’s Memorial erected in 1931, was leveled by severe winds from the same storm that spawned a historic tornado in downtown Springfield and surrounding areas on June 1, 2011.
Smith & Wesson will sponsor a complete restoration of the flagpole and base, incorporating modern materials and technology that will allow for greater durability of the historic landmark. The base of the flagpole, which is inscribed with wars dating up to World War I, will be updated to include subsequent war dates, in honor of those who served after World War I. The company plans to complete the restoration, as well as maintenance and repair of the adjacent portion of the Memorial, in time to host a rededication ceremony on Memorial Day 2014, the anniversary of the Memorial’s original dedication in 1932. The cost of the restoration and repair are expected to be approximately $200,000, and will be paid entirely by Smith & Wesson.
James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson, also noted that the company will partner with local not-for-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of veterans of the armed forces and their families, and will be making additional announcements soon.
Debney said, “Over the course of our 162-year history in Springfield, we have maintained a special relationship with those who have served in the armed forces. They are our employees, our neighbors, our friends, and they are integral to the values and the fabric of our community and our country. While nothing we do compares with the sacrifices made by these heroes and their families, we are honored to have the opportunity to recognize them and give back in some small way.”
Mayor Sarno, who helped Debney unveil a likeness of the sign that will be posted on the median during the project, said, “Originally erected in 1932 to honor our heroes in service and those who have given their lives in service, the Memorial and flagpole have become an important part of our heritage. It is fitting that as we approach Veteran’s Day we find ways to honor the dedicated men and women who have defended our country, and to whom this Memorial is dedicated. Smith & Wesson has been an important part of our community since 1852, and we are proud that this longstanding and respected corporate citizen will help ensure the Memorial remains a proud tribute to our heroes in service. I look forward to joining you here next Memorial Day, to share in a community celebration of the restored Memorial.”
Image courtesy Smith & Wesson