SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – City officials will gather with the community to celebrate a new addition to the Forest Park, v for victory at Porter Lake.

An 85-foot flag pole has been installed and will be dedicated with a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. The installation of a flagpole in Forest Park, was a dream of Paul and David Basile, made possible by Phil and Kathy Cambo of Northern Tree.

The Cambos donated the 85-foot pole, made from a transmission line pole, which now stands at the site where hemlock trees were once planted to form the original shape of the V, in honor of those who fought for the U.S.

A number of Hemlock trees were planted on the hillside there in the 1940’s as a symbol of resilience during World War Two.

As part of the Park Commission’s research into the original planting, a panel has now been installed at the Phaneuf Education Center that describes the historical significance of this planting, ensuring that future generations know how and why the flag flies high on the hill overlooking picturesque Porter Lake. 

The ceremony will honor all Veterans who have served and sacrificed their lives for the country as part of the Tuesday ceremony.

Mayor Sarno states, “The City is honored to recognize the heroism of our Veterans.  This flagpole installed off Porter Lake Drive will be a constant reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made by so many men and women for our country and the importance of never taking our freedom for granted.  We must continue to honor all of our military service personnel, first responders, and civic leaders who serve our country and local communities on a daily basis.  I want to thank PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan, HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Veterans Services Director Tom Belton and our Park Commissioners for their work in making this ceremony possible.  I would also like to thank the Cambo family, whose allegiance to Springfield has been tremendous over the years and I want them to know that their generosity does not go unnoticed.”

PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan said, “I want to thank Phil and Kathy Cambo for their continued commitment to the City of Springfield.  Phil heard of this situation a year ago and called offering, “How Can I Help?”  I outlined the need for a towering 85-foot flagpole and he said, “Consider it done.”  We are so proud to raise the flag once again at the former hemlock stand. I also want to thank Paul and Dave Basile for their commitment and for reviving the memory of the V for Victory planting in Forest Park.   Our Park personnel worked with officials from the U.S. Forest Service to find the original location of the flagpole that marked the V for Victory historical landmark.  It was decided that the Porter Lake shoreline at the Phaneuf Education Center is the most advantageous viewing point of the new flagpole.  This is an appropriate venue as every child that attends the ECOS program will now learn about the V for Victory planting and the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces during WWII that fought for freedom throughout the world.”  

Phil Cambo added, “The most important thing we can do every day is honor our Veterans.  I am so proud of our staff at Northern Tree who assisted Kathy and I on the design of the pole and modified a 100-foot transmission pole to create this beautiful tribute to honor the original V for Victory planting. We are a proud American company that realizes that freedom comes with ultimate sacrifices made by so many. We hope the public takes the time to visit Porter Lake on Memorial Day and see the flag flying and to review the informational panel while reflecting on the servicemen and women who have ensured that our rights and freedoms are preserved.”

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2:15 Tuesday afternoon.