Coventry honors veterans of several wars with monuments on the town’s historic green.
Veterans Memorial Green, along Lake, High and Cross streets, is a former militia ground used for training during the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Civil War.
Today, the green features six monuments, and ground has been broken for a statue of Nathan Hale that is scheduled for dedication later this year.
Coventry’s World War II veterans are honored with a four-foot granite slab near the green’s northern end. The monument features a large Honor Roll plaque with a dedication reading, “In honor of the men and women of Coventry who served our country in World War II. This memorial was made possible by the citizens of the Town of Coventry.”
The memorial lists the names of 321 residents who served in World War II and highlights 15 who died during their service.
Coventry’s Korean War monument is a gray granite obelisk that lists the dates of the conflict and includes a dedication “to all who answered our country’s call to duty and those who gave their last full measure of devotion.”
The monument lists one resident who was killed while serving in Korea.
The town’s Vietnam War monument is a blank granite obelisk with a dedication reading, “Coventry remembers the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of its Vietnam veterans.”
The monument lists two residents who were killed in action, and two others who died while serving in Vietnam.
Veterans of earlier conflicts are honored with a large memorial boulder that was dedicated in 1928. The boulder bears a plaque that reads, “In grateful memory of those men of Coventry who gave themselves unreservedly in the hour of their country’s need. Among them was Nathan Hale. All might have echoed his immortal words, ‘I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.’
“On this historic military training ground, men assembled in the Colonial Wars, War of the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
“This memorial is dedicated by patriotic citizens and friends of Coventry, aided by the societies of the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution and Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution.
“The cannon was presented by the government of the United States [in] 1928 during the administration of Calvin Coolidge, AD 1930.”
The cannon referenced on the Memorial Boulder was built in 1896 by the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, which today manufactures military tools and combat equipment.
The Coventry Green also features a 1998 memorial to French soldiers who fought for American independence. The monument provides a short summary of the decisive support the French military provided to the Continental Army, and highlights seven French soldiers who died of smallpox and were buried in Coventry in 1781.
The southern end of Veterans Memorial Green hosts Connecticut’s Vietnam Memorial.