The first U.S. 1916 Garden of Remembrance has been launched in Springfield, Massachusetts on 12 December 2015.
Senator Mark Daly first developed the idea to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising by creating Gardens of Remembrance in villages, towns and cities throughout the country. With the help of Diarmuid Gavin a garden design concept to be replicated was created. Since the launch of the project in 2015 over 20 gardens have been set up across Ireland, a figure which is increasing. The project has been a huge success and has been adopted by our counterparts in the U.S. to commemorate the men and women who dedicated their lives to fight for Ireland.
United States officials including U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Vice Consul Meg Laffan of the Consulate General of Ireland in Boston took part in the groundbreaking ceremony in Springfield, that coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Irish Easter Rising.
“The rising in 1916 actually helped to create not only the modern Irish state but it was heavily influenced by the men and women who had settled here in the city of Springfield and the surrounding communities,” Neal said at the launch. “In fact, much of the financing that took place for the Rising occurred right here in Western Massachusetts.”
The garden will feature seven newly planted oak trees to represent the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation. In addition, there will be a life size typographical replica of the proclamation and flag poles with the tri-color Irish flag and an American flag, according to the design.