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.

Soldiers’ Monument, Berlin

Soldiers’ Monument, BerlinAn 1871 brownstone obelisk in East Berlin honors the service of local Civil War veterans.

The understated monument stands in a traffic island at the T-shaped intersection of Main Street and Berlin Street. An inscription at the base of the front (south) face reads “Soldiers.” The south face also lists the names and unit affiliations of 14 local Civil War veterans as well as the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, and is also decorated with a Connecticut seal.

The east face lists nine names and the battles of Petersburg (Va.) and Port Hudson (La.). The north face lists the Confederate prison camp in Florence, S.C. (an uncommon reference on CT Civil War monuments) and Andersonville, Ga., as well as 14 names. The west face lists 15 names and the battles of the Wilderness and Fredericksburg, both in Virginia.

The shaft is topped by funerary decorative elements, but otherwise is fairly plain. Obelisks were customary for Civil War monuments built in the 1860s and early-to-mid 1870s, with the soldier-on-a-pedestal designs becoming popular a bit later.

The Berlin monument was erected by the local Grand Army of the Republic post. Overall, it remains in good condition, and only has a small amount of lichen growth. The traffic signs are an unfortunate but probably necessary addition to the traffic island surrounding the monument.

Soldiers’ Monument, Berlin

Soldiers’ Monument, Berlin

Soldiers’ Monument, Berlin