Allan Sosnowitz was going to head to the scene and grab it in the dead of night if he had to—luckily, the mayor was on board with his plan and gave him special permission to go complete his task whenever he could.
So Sosnowitz took to tracking down an old, beat up plaque that stood in front of the former Stamford Advocate building at the site across from the Stamford Government Center and spent an hour-and-a-half drilling and chiseling it off of the boulder it sat on.
"We wanted to get it before it went in the hole. They were just going to bulldoze it in," Sosnowitz said. "It was cemented and bolted into the rock. I came here in broad daylight and liberated it. Then, three months later, I brought it to the Mayor's Office."
Sosnowitz said the plaque was in pretty bad shape after years of weathering Mother Nature and bad drivers.
"People had to jump a curb and go 20 feet to smash into it. And they did," he said. "I had to restore a lot of letters, so I took it upon myself to choose the color blue because it was the same blue as the Israeli flag. There was a brown background enough and it wasn't contrasting enough. I had some fun doing it."
Announced earlier this week, Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia rededicated Tresser Boulevard to the main road's namesake with a restored plaque citing the reason for the name during a ceremony Thursday morning.
The boulevard was named for United States Army Private Samuel N. Tresser, who was killed in action, at the age of 21, in the battle Battle of St. Mihile. Tresser was a member of Old Seventh Company, Connecticut Artillery Company, which eventually became Battery D, 56th Coast Artillery, on being Federalized.
"One thing about Stamford citizens is we picked up on the mission assigned to the entire nation by Abraham Lincoln," Pavia said after the ceremony. "That is, we recognize those who died protecting our nation and it's up to us, the living, to make sure they're remembered. This was a perfect example of that."
At the ceremony, many people contributed to remembering the story of Tresser, including students from Trinity Catholic High School, Westhill High School and Stamford High School and members of the Jewish Historical Society and Stamford Historical Society.