Last updated: December 5, 2022
The Springfield Armory has a long tradition of service that was elucidated during World War II. The renowned M-1 Garand rifle saw service as the standard U.S. service rifle during the war and subsequent conflicts. To meet demands, the armory’s workforce expanded to over 7,500 working 3 shifts to produce more than 160 rifles per hour. Women Ordinance Workers, comprising 43 percent of the staff, contributed in throughout the production. By war’s end 3.1 million M-1 rifles had been manufactured. Factories in Springfield received awards for efficiency and quality. Several local hospitals provided intensive training programs to address a paucity of skilled nurses.
Local residents and businesses supported commemoration of the war effort both at home and overseas. Every year Springfield hosts numerous ceremonies to honor, acknowledge and recognize those who have served. One of the most recent groups and events to have been recognized is the 65th Infantry Regiment nicknamed 'The Borinqueneers'. This mainly Puerto Rican regiment of the US Army served honorable and with distinction throughout the 20th century and has been recognized with military awards and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Springfield also has numerous monuments and memorials throughout our city dedicated to honor their service, memory and the ultimate sacrifices made. Across from City Hall is Veteran's Way, an area and walking path where the city hosts an annual wreath laying and flag ceremony to honor the memory of those who have served. Included in the park are several WWII monuments dedicated to the residents who answered their country's call. In 2015, the City of Springfield was recognized as a Purple Heart City by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.