The Heart of Nashua with Joan Stylianos: Old Glory deserves better treatment at City Hall

The nation’s observance of Memorial Day isn’t until Monday, May 28, but a reader who loves his city and country tipped me off about an eyesore hundreds of cars pass by daily and most of us seem to ignore.

I’ll admit that I was one of the clueless until Bill Thompson pointed the grand object out to me, and now, I understand his strong sentiments about the matter and the eyesore at 229 Main St.

Yes, that is the address of Nashua City Hall and the newly renovated brick plaza that greets many to its proud roots and heart of the city.

Mr. Thompson had written an eloquent letter and emailed it to me, and I thought I would share some excerpts from it. The note concerns the American flag and the sad disrepair this symbol of freedom has come to represent in the state’s second-largest city.

“One of the most beautiful sights to me is the American flag flying in the breeze against a bright blue sky. My uncle landed on Normandy Omaha Beach; my father-in-law served in the Pacific Theater in (World War II); I had classmates who either did not return from Vietnam or did not return the same. Seeing the American flag makes me think of these individuals and the thousands of military personnel who sacrificed so much in order that we can enjoy our freedom and so many blessings of living in this great country. As a military veteran myself, it pains me to see the American flag displayed on the rusty flagpole in front of City Hall. I have tried in vain to get the city to have the pole either repaired or replaced.”

We are a better community than this, and I believe most Nashuans would agree that our city deserves a major improvement.

In addition, the dignified corner literally remains in the dark as he observed with his wife when they exited CVS Pharmacy across Main Street at 11 p.m. one night: “All the flags (including two American flags) at City Hall waving in the dark sky (with no illumination).”

Where is our pride, he wonders, and I know he is not alone in that thought.

Let’s be sensible; cities and towns all watch their pennies, and there are just so many projects that can be funded, but when it comes to a city’s image and how we welcome people to our community, Old Glory will always be a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy today and the men and women who served and sacrificed to protect the United States.

Mr. Thompson knows City Hall well because he was employed there as a city purchasing manager. With his background and knowledge of Nashua and its various departments, he understands how pricing for projects is done and that the goal is to “generate the best value for the City and to use the most efficient methods to achieve this goal” as outlined in the NashuaNH.gov website.

Hopefully, one of these days, the powers-that-be will step up to the plate and repair or replace City Hall Plaza’s impressive but old rusty flagpole and have the area properly illuminated when it’s dark.

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at jtania512@gmail.com.