Veterans’ Memorial, Suffield

Suffield honors its veterans with a five-sided granite monument incorporating plaques from an earlier memorial.

The 2003 monument in Veterans’ Park, near the intersection of Main Street (Route 75) and Bridge Street, honors Suffield veterans from wars ranging from the French and Indian Wars through the conflicts in the Persian Gulf.

The monument, topped by a large bronze eagle facing east, features a dedication reading, “In honor of the men and women of Suffield who served in our armed forces in the time of war.”

The monument also features two bronze Honor Roll plaques that appear to have been part of a 1920 memorial honoring veterans of earlier wars.

The plaques list veterans of the French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1918, Mexican War, Civil War Spanish-American War, and World War I.

The granite sections honor veterans of World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.

A plaque on a nearby boulder explains that Veterans’ Park was dedicated in 1983 to honor Suffield residents who served in Vietnam.

Soldiers’ Monument, Barkhamsted

Barkhamsted honors its Civil War veterans with a granite obelisk that also commemorates the service of residents in later wars.

The Soldier’s Monument, located near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road (Route 318) and Beach Rock Road, was first dedicated in 1897 to honor veterans of the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War and the Civil War.

In recent years, bronze plaques attached to the monument’s base honor veterans of the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.

A dedication on the monument’s front (north) face reads, “The tribute of the people of Barkhamsted to the memory of her sons and daughters who fought to establish, defend and preserve the nation, erected 1897.”

The north face also bears a decorative trophy with two crossed rifles in front of a wreath, and a plaque attached to the north base honors veterans of World War II and Korea.

The west face has a plaque honoring Barkhamsted’s American Revolution veterans, and the base honors Korea and Vietnam veterans.

The south face commemorates residents who served in the Wars of 1812 and Mexico, and the base has a plaque (probably from 1939) listing names omitted from the 1897 plaques.

The east face honors veterans of the Civil War, called the War of the Rebellion. The base honors Spanish-American War veterans as well as residents who served in World War I.

The monument was donated by Walter S. Carter, a Barkhamsted native who headed a New York law firm. Carter had previously practiced in Milwaukee and Chicago, where his firm was destroyed in the fire of 1871.

In addition to the monument, Carter donated land and money to establish a cemetery in Barkhamsted.

The monument, like many of the graves in Center Cemetery to the south of the monument, was originally in the Barkhamsted Hollow section of town. The hollow was flooded in the 1930s when Saville Dam was built to create Barkhamsted Reservoir, which contributes to Hartford’s water supply.

Two Barkhamsted cemeteries and the monument were relocated in 1939 and Center Cemetery was established. A section at the southern end of the cemetery honors residents whose remains could not be identified when they were moved.

To the east of the Soldiers’ Monument, the bell from the former Hollow Church has been mounted on large granite blocks that originally formed part of the Saville Dam spillway.

More details about the flooding of Barkhamsted Hollow are available in an article from CT Explored magazine.

Monument Square, Concord, Mass.

Concord, Mass., honors its war heroes with a collection of monuments on the town green.

The first and largest memorial on Monument Square is the 30-foot granite obelisk honoring Concord residents killed in the Civil War.  A dedication plaque on the monument’s west face reads, “The Town of Concord builds this monument in honor of the brave men whose names it bears, and records with grateful pride that they found here a birthplace, home or grave. 1866.”

The east face features a plaque reading “They died for their country in the war of the rebellion,” and lists the names of 32 residents. Among the dead are three members of the Melvin family, who died while serving with the First Mass. Heavy Artillery.

The south face has been inscribed with the dedication, “Faithful unto death,” and the north face bears the years of the Civil War.

The monument was dedicated on April 19, 1867, the 92nd anniversary of fighting at Concord’s North Bridge at the beginning of the American Revolution. The date also marked the anniversary of the departure of Civil War troops from Concord in 1861.

The monument’s foundation contains a large granite block from the abutment of North Bridge.

The Civil War monument was designed by Hammatt Billings, an architect and artist who illustrated the first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Billings also designed the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Mass., as well as the original platform protecting Plymouth Rock.

At the green’s south end, a large boulder features a plaque honoring 25 residents who died in World War I. The plaque also includes poetry verses writted by Concord resident Ralph Waldo Emerson.

At the north end of the green, a plaque affixed to a boulder honors three residents who were killed in the Spanish-American War.

Southwest of the green, a small plaza has three memorials commemorating  those lost in more recent conflicts. The central monument honors the 25 residents lost in World War II. The monument on the left honors three residents killed in Korea and one lost in Iraq. The right monument honors five killed in Vietnam and one who died in the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic in 1965-66.

Soldiers’ Monument, Southington

Southington’s Civil War veterans are honored with an 1880 monument in the center of the town green.

The granite Soldiers’ Monument depicts a clean-shaven Civil War soldier standing with a rifle. A relatively simple dedication on the front (east) face reads, “The defenders of our Union. 1861-1865.”

The east face also features an intricate carving of the Connecticut and United States shields and a raised ribbon with the state motto. The monument’s other faces do not bear any inscriptions.

While the monument has comparatively little lettering, it has a number of decorative elements not commonly seen on Civil War monuments, such as the four blue granite columns at each corner and the ornamental gables just below the soldier’s feet.

The monument was created by Charles Conrads, the principal sculptor for James Batterson’s New England Granite Works. Batterson’s firm supplied many Civil War monuments in Connecticut.

North of the green, which was laid out in 1876, a memorial flagpole dedicated after World War I honors veterans of that and the nation’s earlier wars. On the east and north faces of the flagpole’s base, bronze tablets list veterans of World War I (in four columns on each tablet).

On the west side, a tablet has four columns listing Southington’s Civil War veterans. On the south side, veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Spanish-American War are honored.

South of the Civil War monument, a collection of memorials honors veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the ongoing fight against terrorism. The central granite tablet bears a dedication inscribed below a carved eagle. The left two memorials feature bronze tablets listing World War II veterans in 10 long columns of names, and honoring 33 residents who were killed in the conflict.

The two memorials on the right honor veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The Korean War memorial list veterans in six columns and honors one who was killed. The Vietnam memorial also has six columns of names and honors 10 who were killed.

War Monument, Berlin

Berlin honors local war veterans with a collection of memorials on Worthington Ridge.

The monument site is dominated by a 1920 obelisk topped by a large eagle. A dedication on the east side of the obelisk’s base reads, “Erected by the town of Berlin in honor of her patriotic men and women who served their country in time of war. For the dead, a tribute. For the living, a memory. For posterity, an emblem of loyalty to the flag of their country.”

The other three sides of the monument have simple plaques listing a war and the dates in which it was fought. The north side honors World War I, the west side honors the Spanish-American War and the south side honors the Civil War.

Behind the obelisk is a curved brick pergola that features four monuments honoring veterans of the two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.

World War I veterans are honored with a two-sided memorial at the south end of the pergola. Both sides bear two columns of names listing residents who served in the war. The west face of the World War monument honors five residents killed in the conflict, including one who died in Red Cross service. The west face also honors four nurses and five members of the Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC), the forerunner of today’s ROTC.

World War II veterans are honored with a similar two-sided tablet, each with four columns of names. The east face bears a dedication and honors 22 veterans killed in the conflict.

Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars are honored with single-sided tablets. The Korean War memorial has two columns of residents listed, and honors one resident killed in action. The Vietnam memorial, which has four columns of names, honors three residents killed in action and one who was reported missing.

A military cannon facing west has been mounted in the central section of the pergola, between the World War II and Korean War memorials.

A granite marker installed in front of the obelisk honors 21 residents who served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Granite planters in the front of the monument site honor the branches of the military.

The monument stands in a triangular area at the intersection where Farmington Avenue  and Wildem Road meet Worthington Ridge.

Berlin’s Civil War veterans are honored with brownstone monuments in East Berlin and the town’s Kensington section. The Kensington monument, dedicated in 1863, may well be the first Civil War monument erected in the United States.

Spirit of Victory, Hartford

Hartford’s Spanish-American War veterans are honored with an allegorical monument in the city’s Bushnell Park.

The Spirit of Victory monument, near the intersection of Elm and Trinity streets, features a winged figure standing atop the bow of a ship with an eagle figurehead that we assume represents the United States.

Victory stands with a torch in her raised right arm, and her left hand holds a shield decorated with the United States flag.

The base of the monument is a large granite base with inscriptions on its front (west) face. The dedication, which is split between the north and south sides of the monument, reads, “To commemorate the valor and patriotism of the Hartford men/Who served their country in the war with Spain 1898.”

The bench is also decorated with two bronze plaques. On the north side, a muscular sailor is loading ammunition, and on the south side, an infantryman kneels with a rifle.

The back of the monument has a small plaque listing its 1927 dedication date, along with the names of two mayors and eight councilmen who served when the monument was planned and dedicated.

The Spirit of Victory was created by noted sculptor Evelyn Beatrice Longman, who is perhaps best known for Electricity and the Spirit of Communication, the “golden boy” statue that served as a symbol of AT&T for many years. Longman also created decorative elements on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and her Connecticut works include the World War monuments in Naugatuck and Windsor.

Longman’s signature is inscribed atop the bow of the ship, near Victory’s feet.

From the Spirit of Victory, you can see the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch to the northwest and the state capitol building to the west.