A formal ceremony marking the official renaming of the Rockville Library to the Rockville Memorial Library will be held on Friday, May 28 at 11 a.m. in the front of the building at 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville.
On November 10, 2009, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed a proclamation declaring that the name of the library be changed to honor “those who have given their lives defending the principles of freedom [during every major military conflict since the County was created in 1776] and will be deserving of the highest gratitude and honor by the people of Montgomery County.”
“It is fitting that this magnificent library stand in name and purpose as a tribute to the memory of the brave women and men from Montgomery County who gave their lives so that we and future generations may enjoy the benefits of such a facility,” said Leggett who is a Vietnam veteran, having commanded U.S. and South Vietnamese troops in field combat during his tour of duty in 1968-69.
In addition to Leggett, other local elected officials are expected to attend. Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton will serve as emcee for the program that will also include representatives of the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs, members of local families who have lost loved ones in the conflicts, and veterans representing the major wars in recent history.
Hamilton said that “With widespread support from our community, the Rockville Library was renamed the Rockville Memorial Library to honor, remember and reflect upon the sacrifices made by members of our community who gave their lives in service to our country. We are very proud of the connection made between the past and the present that allows us to honor and create a sense of history and community values”.
Among those attending will be Richard and Lee Ann Doerflinger of Silver Spring, whose son, Army SPC Thomas K. Doerflinger, a 2002 graduate of Springbrook High School, was killed in action in Iraq on Veteran’s Day, 2004.
“Like many of the heroes being honored,” they said, “our son put himself in harm’s way in a part of the world where the freedom to think and believe, to read and write as we wish, are all but unknown. We hope those who use the library will be reminded that these freedoms we take for granted are bought at great price.”
The County’s Commission on Veteran’s Affairs, established in 2008 at Leggett’s request, will be represented by Chairman Bill Gray. “The Montgomery County public library system gives us the opportunity to freely borrow books and other materials and to do research,” Gray said. “Renaming the library Rockville Memorial Library will honor the individuals from Montgomery County who have given their lives to assure us that we will continue to receive these benefits.”
The new library identification sign, centered on the angled beam at the front of the glass canopy above the front entryway, will be unveiled as part of the ceremony.
Bagpipe selections will be performed, and the ceremony will conclude with Taps.
Special Display of Military Memorabilia in Library
Throughout May, the Rockville Memorial Library is displaying memorabilia loaned by local families who have lost loved ones in major military conflicts.
The branch also will have a Remembrance Book that customers may sign with thoughts/memories, while signage will mark the displays and indicate collections of library materials dealing with military history and other issues relating to veterans’ service.
The Veteran’s Commission Chair Gray said, “We feel that the display of these items, used by our neighbors, our veterans and those on active duty, will give County residents an idea of what the service members have endured. Those on active duty meet the challenge daily, and some are in harm’s way, so that we can live the life we frequently take for granted. The families of our fallen heroes have sacrificed their loved ones; displaying these items is a way for us to honor their sacrifice.”
Montgomery County Public Libraries is proud to partner with the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs and to host this display,” said MCPL Director Hamilton. “We hope it will make residents and visitors really stop and think about what these individuals and families have given up for all of us. This display is about more than the Memorial Day holiday. It is about the true meaning of sacrifice.”
The memorial items may be seen in the display cases on the first floor of the library located at 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
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Renaming program contact: Michele Sellars, MCPL, 240-777-0196;
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Display contact: Richard Schiffauer, Veterans Commission, 240-777-1724
Media contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507