Place Jolicoeur is still in the headlines

Mayor Fontaine called a press conference on Friday.

Mayor Leo Fontaine called a press conference on Friday, August 3, 2012 to discuss the controversy over the Place Jolicoeur memorial and new correspondence between the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) who would like the cross atop the monument removed. The conference was held at the Woonsocket Museum of Work and Culture and was attended by Senators, State Police officials, veterans and many of the Woonsocket community.

The meeting began with a video that Mayor Fontaine produced himself. It showed the men at war and clips of the boys who lost their lives. A tear or two amongst the audience were shed.

Mayor Leo Fontaine took the podium to ensure the Town of Woonsocket that this memorial, which has stood in it's place for over 60 years, would not be moved.

Mayor Fontaine said, "The community has come together. Over 1,000 white crosses have been sold to our community members who have placed them on their front lawns for all to see how they support this memorial. It's like a gravestone to the boys who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. We will defend this memorial to the end. None of our tax payer dollars will be used in the defense of this monument."

Attorney Joseph S. Larisa, Jr. and former Mayor of East Providence reassured the audience that no tax payer dollars would be used to defend this memorial. We will continue to defend and protect their monument to honor all veterans and as a memorial to our native sons who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Questions and answers followed. A veteran stood up, Roger Petit who fought in Korea. He let everyone know that in the Bristol, Rhode Island parade there were two floats that were facsimilies of our memorial.

In closing Mayor Fontaine said," I respect anyone's feelings, faith and beliefs. I wish that the person who filed this complaint would call me. I would tell them to speak with the Jolicouer family and to learn about the family. I think it would help change their point of view."

Place Jolicoeur was dedicated by Marshall Foch on November 13, 1921 in memory of William Jolicoeur a World War I Hero. Then on May 30, 1952 the memorial was dedicated in honor of the Gagne Brothers Alexandre, Henri and Louis who all died in World War II. They were the sons of Bernadette Gagne.

A second memorial will be built to honor Mrs. Bernadette Gagne and will be placed close to the one in memory of her family.





J. Duhamel August 08, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Common sense dictates that you spell it woe,not woah.
Common Sense August 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Its about respecting and honoring the memory of those that died in service to their country, but it is apparent that you nothing of service to others or respect.
pitbull tickler August 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Read between the lines? How is that possible? There's barely anything here to read. The so-called "reporter" was not at the event. She probably avoids coming to Woonsocket whenever possible. The story was clearly "written" by calling someone at City Hall and asking them to send her stuff. Then it was posted here -- several days after the event, I might add
Steve August 08, 2012 at 04:19 PM
CS, if this statement is directed at me, then here's a quick response to it. My dad served in WWII and was decorated with a DFC, (Distinguished Flying Cross) along with several other decorations. I visit his grave site every weekend to pay respects to him as well as pay respect to all the other veterans buried along side of him. I've been doing this for the over 35 years now. So when you go spewing statements of knowing nothing of service or respect, think before you speak. And for the monument that's in question, it's not the monument itself that has the group from Wisconsin fired up, it's the cross that sits on top of it. Do some homework. Here's an idea, remove the cross from the top of the monument and place it in a local church along with a plaque that dedicates where it came from. In its place, put a bronze eagle or some other armed forces insignia on top, have a rededication ceremony, and there you go, no more Wisconsin lawsuit or interjection! Case closed…….. Problem solved........ Now that’s real Common Sense!
Russell Archambault August 08, 2012 at 07:37 PM
STEVE; next time you go to visit your dad and pay your respect to all the veterans, please let them know that I thank all of them for their service also. Russ


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