A shining light atop Mount Greylock, the state’s highest peak, the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Tower has achieved a new lofty status.
The 93-foot tall monument, whose illuminated beacon is visible from three states, has been designated as a World War I Centennial Memorial by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago.
The tower is one of 100 memorials chosen nationally to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the “Great War.” Memorials in Harvard, Springfield, Wellesley and Worcester were also selected, according to the commission’s website.
On Thursday morning, Col. Jennifer Pritzker, founder of the museum, joined state officials to unveil a plaque at the memorial at Mount Greylock State Reservation in Adams. About 30 people attended the dedication at the reservation run by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
“We have a proud tradition to lead the nation when it comes to providing the community with benefits and services to veterans and their families, even long before WWI,” said Francisco Urena, the state’s secretary of veterans’ services.
“It’s such an impressive sight to see as a warrior and combat veteran,” added Urena, who served as a tank commander in Iraq for the US Marine Corps. “The memorial is in such a pristine place in the mountain air. It’s a place of peace and calmness.”
Under overcast skies, the granite tower at first appeared to be hidden in the clouds. But, Urena recalled, the clouds parted just as DCR Commissioner Leo Roy read an inscription engraved on the tower: “Erected by Massachusetts in Grateful Recognition of the Loyalty and Sacrifice of Her Sons and Daughters In War. They Were Grateful Even Unto Death.”