10 Unique Memorials of American Wars
Veterans memorials and war memorials are important pieces of the way nations process and recover from wars and military conflicts. They’re used to remember the dead and honor those who served, and remind generations to come of the sacrifices made.
Though everyone knows the larger national memorials, such as the Vietnam Wall or the Korean War Memorial, cities and states across the nation have found interesting ways to commemorate their residents’ parts in each military conflict. Here are 10 interesting veterans memorials from American wars:
Revolutionary War – Molly Stark Statue, Wilmington, VT
(rickpilot_2000 // Flickr)
Elizabeth “Molly” Page Stark was the wife of Revolutionary War General John Stark and daughter of Caleb Page, the first postmaster of New Hampshire.
She is remembered for nursing her husband’s troops through a smallpox outbreak during the war, as well as opening her home as a hospital for troops.
War of 1812 – Battle of New Orleans Memorial, Chalmette, LA
(Jim Bowen // Flickr)
Fought in 1815, the Battle of New Orleans is considered the last great battle of the War of 1812. This battle actually took place just downriver from New Orleans, in Chalmette, Louisiana, and was the site of 2,000 British and 13 American casualties.
The Egyptian obelisk style made most familiar by the Washington Monument towers more than 70 feet over the original battlefield site, where the Battle of New Orleans is reenacted each year.
Mexican-American War – Bear Flag Monument, Sonoma, CA
(MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons)
This statue, which commemorates the taking down of the Bear Flag and the raising of the American Flag in 1846, marks the end of Californian control by Mexico. The spot where the statue stands is supposedly the site of the Bear Flag Revolt, though a boulder not far from the statue bears a sign claiming that as the spot of the revolt.
The monument is on the register of California Historical Landmarks.
Civil War – Kentucky Memorial, Vicksburg, MS
(JW1805 // Wikimedia Commons)
Among the many statues and memorials at the battlefield site in Vicksburg is the Kentucky Memorial, which features statues of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.
The monument itself remembers that Kentucky during the Civil War was a divided state, with residents fighting for both sides. The statues of Lincoln and Davis stand at what would have been the front lines between the Union and Confederate armies, and are located on a circle inscribed with “Divided We Fall.”
Spanish-American War – Spanish-American War Veterans Memorial, Portland, OR
(M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons)
This monument, located near the graves of some soldiers from the Spanish-American War, honors the 2nd Oregon Volunteer Regiment. Because it is located in a cemetery, it appears the statue is standing guard over the graves of fallen comrades.
World War I – Spirit of the American Doughboy, Various Locations
(Threeblur0 // Wikimedia Commons)
The “Spirit of the American Doughboy” was designed to honor the casualties and veterans of World War I. As more and more communities wanted to commemorate residents who served, the statue was mass produced and distributed throughout the country.
The Doughboy statue also sparked a series of small statuettes that people purchased to display in their own homes during the 1920s.
World War II – Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, Battery Park, New York City
(Ron Cogswell // Flickr)
This monument, loosely based on a photograph taken of crewmen on the SS Muskogee before they drowned, depicts mariners attempting to rescue a comrade after their U-boat was hit.
It is one of several World War II memorials in Battery Park.
Korean War – New Jersey Korean Veterans War Memorial, Atlantic City, NJ
(Komateus // Flickr)
This arresting memorial, dedicated to the veterans of the Korean War, depicts a soldier holding a set of dog tags in the foreground. In the background is a scene showing a group of soldiers attempting to get an injured friend to safety.
Vietnam War – Vietnam Memorial, Sacramento, CA
(Jim Bowen // Flickr)
This large monument has two main parts – the inner circle and the outer ring. On the outer ring are 22 black granite panels engraved with the names of the Californians who died or are still missing in Vietnam.
In the center are four bronze statues showing life during the Vietnam War – two soldiers in combat, a pair of exhausted-looking soldiers, a prisoner of war, and a wounded soldier being tended to by a nurse.
Gulf War – Desert Storm Memorial, Phoenix, AZ
(Visitor7 // Wikimedia Commons)
This colorful memorial is part of the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. It depicts the full war experience, from leaving families behind before deploying to combat, and even shows a military funeral.
Exceptional Veterans Memorials & Markers in Maryland
If your community or group is looking for a unique way to remember its veterans, the skilled team at Merkle Monuments in Maryland can help. In our more than 80 years in business, we have helped communities find ways to express their grief and gratitude, providing lasting memorials for years to come. Contact us today to discuss your veteran memorial and marker needs!