Stamford honors its veterans with a collection of monuments in a downtown plaza dedicated in 1977.
Veterans Park, near the intersection of Main and Atlantic streets, features a bronze Doughboy figure, several large granite slabs, a statue of Abraham Lincoln, and a monument honoring the founders of Stamford.
The central figure in the plaza is a Doughboy statue atop a granite base with an inscription reading, “Lest we forget. Within this pedestal is placed a time capsule recording for all time those residents of Stamford who responded to the call, some giving their lives, while serving in our past wars. In future wars, should we be called again, the people of Stamford pledge to preserve and perpetuate this expression of gratitude for such sacrifice.”
To the left of the Doughboy statue, on the western side of the park, a granite slab depicts a grieving mother and daughter (or perhaps two women) above a dedication reading, “To those who gave their lives in our country’s wars. They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn in the glory of their youth. We will remember them. Erected by the citizens of Stamford, Connecticut.”
At the eastern end of the park, a granite “In Memoriam” monument lists, arranged by service branch, Stamford residents killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. More than 200 names are listed in the World War II section. Sixteen names are listed for the Korean War, and 26 heroes are listed for Vietnam.
The southernmost of the four granite slabs depicts a mother with a young boy. Beneath the figures is an inscribed passage from the Gettysburg Address reading, “Let us, the living, be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion. Abraham Lincoln.”
The figure and the surrounding slabs were the work of sculptor Gino Lupinacci, whose other works included the war memorial in downtown Greenwich.
The plaza, diagonally across from Stamford’s former Town Hall building, was the site of a Service Roll honoring the city’s World War II servicemen and women. By the end of the war, the Service Roll contained more than 10,000 names.
Along with the Gettysburg Address excerpt, Lincoln is honored with a statue in the plaza.
To the west of the veteran’s memorial, a 1931 bronze plaque mounted on a boulder honors the first settlers of Stamford and the erection of the town’s first meeting house. According to the monument, Stamford was founded in 1641 by 29 families who moved south from Wethersfield.
Organizers are working to add a statue and memorial honoring Medal of Honor winner Homer L. Wise, a Stamford native recognized many times for bravery in World War II.
Stamford’s veterans of World War I and earlier conflicts are honored with the 1920 Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in St. John’s Memorial Park. More than 4,400 names are inscribed on that monument.