‘Peace’ sign inspires caroling on The Green

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The re-emergence of the Peace sign on The Green in Dover has prompted Jan Crumpley to restart a caroling tradition downtown. (Delaware State News file photo)

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

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Does the “Peace” sign on The Green have you longing for Christmases of the past?

Jan Crumpley — musician, artist and store proprietor — says several Dover folks have said so.

It motivated her to put together a “Caroling on the Green” event, set for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday by the Peace sign near the Old Statehouse.

“The mayor put up the ‘Peace’ sign last year,” said Ms. Crumpley. “Now when people go by it, they say, ‘I remember when we sang carols out here,’”

In the Delaware Store on the corner of The Green and State Street, Ms. Crumpley has a Christmas card of the sign for sale. It’s a digital painting of the scenic holiday setting.

“I had a lot of people ask me why can’t we bring that back,” she said. “People are real nostalgic about that and go, ‘Gee, wasn’t it fun when we did that?’”

From the Editor logo copy copyThe plan is to have an hour of music, singing maybe a dozen songs only with accompaniment of Bob Frazier’s guitar.

“It’s going to be acoustic and just music,” she said.

And, it’ll solely be about the words of the holiday songs.

“No speeches, no ceremonies,” she said.

“We’re going to sing 12 Christmas songs that everybody knows,” said Ms. Crumpley. “I’m going to pass out song sheets in case people need to know the second verse of ‘Away in a Manger’ or whatever we’re singing.”

People should plan on bringing flashlights, she said.

In a way, it’ll be similar to the caroling that used to take place on The Green, the historic center of the city plotted out by William Penn nearly 300 years ago.

“According to the McDaniels and the Jacksons who live here, people would walk around The Green and stop at all these houses and sing outside,” she said.

It’s not clear how many years ago the Peace sign was put in a warehouse and forgotten.

Last year, Mayor Robin Christiansen — prompted by the nostalgic plea of Forney’s Too owner Gary Knox — sought it out. It was easily found in city storage and promptly moved out to The Green.

Ms. Crumpley said those attending are asked to bring canned goods for donation to the needy.

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In advance of Dec. 7, here’s an early happy Delaware Day message to our readers.

It is the date that we remember the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and our pride in becoming the First State.

The site of the Parke Green galleries and The Delaware Store is what once was the location of The Golden Fleece tavern. It was there that Delaware’s leaders approved the document.

As docent of the current building which was built in 1830, Ms. Crumpley feels a responsibility to share its history with visitors.

“This is where we ratified Bill of Rights — Caesar Rodney and his brother and all these people would come in,” she said. “We have to know all of that history.”

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Dec. 7, of course, is the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Locally, the Vietnam Veterans/Legacy Veterans Motorcycle Club will have a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Lake Como in Smyrna to honor the Americans who died in Hawaii in 1941. Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, National Guard adjutant general, will be the guest speaker.

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Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced a plan to exhume the remains of nearly 400 sailors and Marines who died on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor in an attempt to identify them.

The DNA Identification Laboratory at Dover Air Force Base is involved in the process.

In early November, it was announced seven men had been identified. Names have not yet been released.

The unknown included 388 servicemen who were buried in 61 caskets at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The cemetery is known locally as the “Punchbowl.”

The military says the project was started because of its confidence in new forensic science and technology.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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