Colonial Flag Foundation Programs Attract Great PeoplePaul Swenson
Since Healing Field® and Field of Honor® events encompass massive displays of the Stars and Stripes, the casual observer may conclude that whether in California or New York—the events are pretty much the same. Actually, each event bears the unique stamp of the local host community. Nevertheless, there are many parallels that become obvious for those lucky enough who visit several of these amazing flag displays. One thing that stands out to those of us, working at the Foundation’s national office, is that our program attracts amazing people who serve as local organizers. Our efforts coordinating flag displays all over our nation, gives us the opportunity to build fast friendships with some outstanding individuals.
It takes someone really special to stand out among this exceptional group of community leaders, and Thomas Wigmore of Cohasset, Massachusetts fills that bill to overflowing. For decades Tom has working quietly behind the scenes to honor veterans during Cohasset’s Memorial Day Activities. Appreciation for our veterans often grows from personal service in the military, but in Tom’s case his demonstrated appreciation stems from his father’s military service. Tom is Commander of the Cohasset Chapter of the Sons of the American Legion. Steve Wigmore, Tom’s father, is the Commander of the town’s George H. Mealy American Legion Post. Also, Deirdre Wigmore, Tom’s wife heads up the Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary. So honoring and serving area veterans is for the Wigmores a family matter.
Tom has headed the Cohasset’s Field of Honor® flag display on Memorial Day for nine straight years, and this alone is a huge undertaking. Each year Tom has rounded up sponsors to make the inspirational display possible and organized volunteers to assemble and post the flags.
However, as impressive and memorable as a Field of Honor® display is, Tom’s dedication to honoring veteran’s on Memorial Day runs wider and deeper. Tom has admitted that he has been helping his father with Memorial Day observances “since [he] was a little kid.” Certainly he has contributed his talents and energy to Cohasset Memorial Day observances for decades. With Tom’s support, Memorial Day activities in town have grown from a simple parade to a weeklong schedule of events. The event grows bigger and better with each succeeding year. “Instead of one day,” Tom explained, “they get a whole week—that’s how it should be.” A majestic formation of the Stars and Stripes has become an essential part of Cohasset’s Memorial Day tradition, and Tom has played a central role in bringing area residents together for the Field of Honor® display and the myriad of activities that surround it. As one city resident noted, “Simply put, without Tom Wigmore there would be no Healing Field®.”
In recognition of his decade’s long service to the community, Tom Wigmore has been selected as Cohasset’s Citizen of the Year. This acknowledgement would be appropriate if awarded during any one of many past years, but it is especially fitting this year. While yet a young man of fifty-one, Tom has be diagnosed as suffering from Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. So, just as he has for so many years and in so many ways honored the service of others, it is now time to honor Tom Wigmore for his exceptional service. The Colonial Flag Foundation proudly joins with Tom’s multitude of friends and admirers in praising his selfless service and wishing him and Deirdre, his devoted wife, our best hopes and wishes as they battle this dreaded disease.