Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Danbury

Danbury honors veterans of several wars with a 1931 Memorial on the West Street green.

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, near the intersection of West and Division streets, is dedicated to soldiers and sailors who served in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.

The monument features a bronze group of four soldiers and a sailor standing atop a round granite pillar. A dedication at the monument’s base reads, “Dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of Danbury,” along with years in which the various conflicts started (1776, 1861, 1898, and 1917).

The American Revolution and World War I figures are standing, the Civil War figure and sailor are in kneeling positions, and the Spanish-American war figure is crouched with a rifle at the ready. All of the figures have a variety of personal equipment.

The figures were created by sculptor Donald E. Curran, a Darien resident who won a design competition.

To the east of the Memorial, a granite boulder bears a plaque, dedicated in 1952, that honors Danbury’s World War II veterans.

At the eastern end of the green, a memorial honors president James A. Garfield, a Civil War veteran. The monument was erected in a park on West Wooster Street in 1884 by local philanthropist Edward A. Houseman, and moved to the West Street Green in 1931.

The monument was restored in 1993 after it was struck by a car.

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Art Inventories Catalog

War Memorial, Danbury

War Memorial, DanburyA collection of monuments near the War Memorial community center and gym in Danbury honor the service and sacrifice of local veterans and war heroes.

The War Memorial, built in 1951 near the entrance to Rogers Park, was dedicated “to honor the dead [and] to serve the living.” The facility offers recreational facilities and community events, and the grounds in front of the building feature memorials to the World Wars, Vietnam and Korea, and honor two local recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Near the War Memorial entrance are five plaques honoring those who served in the major wars since World War I. Starting at the visitor’s left, the first plaque bears the dedication “In honor of the men and women of Danbury who served in World War II 1941-1945 The memory of these departed heroes always lives,” and lists the names  of 103 residents lost in the war.

War Memorial, DanburyThe next monument to the right lists a dozen names of people from Danbury and surrounding towns who died in the Korean War.

In the center of the monument collection is a plaque dedicated “In honor of the men and women of Danbury who served in the World War 1917-1919 And in memory of these men who made the supreme sacrifice for liberty.” The plaque lists the names, service affiliation, and the date and location of death, of 35 men.

The nearby Vietnam memorial lists the names of 59 men from Danbury and other towns who were killed or reported missing in the war.

The monument on the visitor’s far right also honors World War I veterans, and was erected by the Danbury High School alumni association to honor graduates who served in the war. Four columns of names are listed, and three graduates who died in the war are honored separately on the plaque (as well as on the other World War I memorial).

War Memorial, DanburyNear the north end of the grounds in front of the War Memorial is a 1988 monument honoring the service of men and women from the region in the Vietnam War. The monument is topped by a statue of an infantry soldier cradling a young girl. The soldier is mounted on a granite base with three bronze plaques.

The central plaque lists the names of 47 men from Danbury and the towns of Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield who were lost in the conflict. The plaque on the left depicts a map of Vietnam and service medals, and the right plaque depicts a medical evacuation scene.

We were impressed at the gesture made by Danbury veterans to honor their colleagues from neighboring towns on the Vietnam and Korea monuments.

War Memorial, DanburyA bit south of the Vietnam memorial is a polished black granite monument to the sacrifice of 17 men from the region who were killed in the Korean War. The monument is topped by an eagle standing on top of a globe. The central panel features an etched map of Korea and a dedication to those who died, are missing or returned safely. (These photos were taken in mid-March, which helps explain the holiday wreath at the base of this monument.)

The left panel honors the memory of war heroes from Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Bethel, Redding and Newtown, and the right panel has an explanation and statistics that educate visitors about the war.

Two smaller nearby monuments honor local heroes who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and several trees commemorate the Sept. 11 victims and local residents who have made a variety of civic contributions to Danbury. 





War Memorial, Danbury










War Memorial, Danbury










War Memorial, Danbury









War Memorial, Danbury










War Memorial, Danbury

Unknown and African-American Soldier Monuments, Danbury

Unknown Soldiers' Monument, DanburyAn 1894 monument to soldiers and sailors in unknown graves has been joined by a 2007 monument to African-American soldiers in Danbury’s Wooster Cemetery. 

The Monument to Soldiers in Unknown Graves was dedicated in 1894 to honor Connecticut Civil War Veterans who were reported missing after battles. The monument is topped by a granite soldier that, unique among Connecticut Civil War monuments, is holding a rifle at funeral rest position. Also uncommon is the cross at the soldier’s left, on the monument’s south face. (The Connecticut Soldiers’ Monument in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in New Haven also bears a cross on its front face).

The front and back of the monument are inscribed with the names and unit affiliations of local veterans who were lost in the Civil War. 

Unknown Soldiers' Monument, DanburyA bronze plaque has been affixed to the east face of the monument honoring Nathan E. Hickok, who was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for capturing a battle flag in 1864 during fighting near Richmond. 

Next to the  Monument to Soldiers in Unknown Graves is a black granite monument that was dedicated in 2007 to honor African-American veterans who volunteered for Civil War service. The front face of the monument bear the dedication “to the memory of the black soldiers of Greater Danbury who served in the 29th and 30th Regiments Conn. Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War 1981-1865.” The front face also bears an inscribed Grand Army of the Republic medal. 

The rear of the monument bears 70 names from the 29th Conn., and honors 16 who were killed in service, as well as nine names from the 30th Conn., including three who were killed. The monument also lists a dozen names from other Connecticut and New York regiments and the U.S. Navy, including one soldier who lost his life. 

Both monuments are not far from the David Wooster monument highlighted in last Friday’s post

Unknown Soldiers' Monument, DanburyA monument to the men of the 29th Regiment Conn. Volunteer Infantry was dedicated in 2008 in New Haven’s Criscuolo Park, and will be highlighted in a future post. 







African-American Soldiers' Monument, Danbury










African-American Soldiers' Monument, Danbury











Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

British Raid Monument and David Wooster Grave, Danbury

British Raid Monument, DanburyA boulder on Main Street in Danbury commemorates the burning of several local buildings by British forces who invaded the city on April 26, 1777. 

After landing in Westport the day before, about 2,000 British troops entered Danbury with plans to attack war supplies being stored in the city. The troops destroyed food, medicine and ammunition, including a large grain-packed barn on Main Street that was burned.

The troops were also ordered to destroy a supply of local rum, but chose instead to drink it.

British General William Tryon (who would invade New Haven two years later) received a warning that Continental militia forces were in Bethel and planned to attack the troops. Tryon gathered his forces and began to evacuate Danbury. As they were leaving the city, the troops began burning houses of Continental supporters. All told, they burned 19 homes, and 22 storehouses and barns, in the city. 

British Raid Monument, DanburyThe Connecticut militia sent forces from New Haven and Fairfield, who united under the command of Gen. David Wooster. After discussions in Bethel, about 400 troops commanded by Benedict Arnold (who hadn’t yet turned traitor) and Selleck Silliman set up a roadblock in Ridgefield and Wooster circled around to attack the British from the rear. 

During fighting near Ridgefield, Wooster was killed by a musket ball that struck his back.   Arnold’s troops provided fierce resistance before being repelled by the British forces. The militia then launched a series of small skirmish attacks as the troops retreated to Westport and the safety of their ships, which they reached on April 28. 

In Danbury, the invasion is marked by a boulder that sits in a small park on Main Street. The monument, not far from the city’s 9/11 memorial, has a bronze plaque that summarizes the battle. In part, the plaque reads “The Revolutionary Village which centered about this green with its store of supplies for the army was sacked and burned by a force of two thousand British, April 26, 1777.”

British Raid Monument, DanburyWooster, a native of Stratford (where a middle school is named after him), is buried in Wooster Cemetery, which is not far from the invasion monument. His grave is marked by a tall reddish obelisk that was erected by the Masons in 1854. The front (south) face bears a bas relief image of Wooster’s death. The east face has an image with symbolism that escapes us. The north and west faces have biographical information about Wooster’s life and contributions to the young United States as well as to the Masons. 




David Wooster Monument, Danbury










David Wooster Monument, Danbury









David Wooster Monument, Danbury










David Wooster Monument, Danbury










David Wooster Monument, Danbury













Connecticut by Albert E. Van Dusen (Random House, 1961)

9/11 Memorial, Danbury

9/11 Memorial, DanburyThe city of Danbury has honored the state’s victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with an 12-foot glass sculpture that rises from a five-sided granite base. 

A plaque near the monument bears the dedication “in loving memory to Connecticut victims of the terrorist attack on the United States September 11, 2001.”

The memorial, dedicated in 2004, stands on Main Street near the former Fairfield County Courthouse. The monument was crafted from shards of broken glass that were fused into a hollow rectangle in the shape of a former World Trade Center tower. 

Within the tower, a long sheet of glass is etched with the names of the 152 victims of 9/11 from Connecticut.

9/11 Memorial, DanburyThe monument, which is lighted at night, rises from a Pentagon-shaped base of granite blocks that sits at the center of a small plaza with two benches and a pathway lined with flags. 

The monument was created by sculptor Henry Richardson, who has other glass works on display in Maine, Connecticut and Florida. 








9/11 Memorial, Danbury












9/11 Memorial, Danbury










Additional information:

City of Danbury 

Voices of September 11

Soldiers’ Monument, Danbury

Soldiers' Monument, DanburyThe Soldiers’ Monument at the corner of West Street and Main Street in Danbury was dedicated in 1880 to honor local Civil War heroes. 

The monument differs from the Civil War monuments in other Connecticut towns in a number of ways. First, it features a round column, instead of the more-common four-sided, pointed shaft. Second, the standard-bearing figure topping the granite column was carved from Italian marble. 

Additionally, the highlighted battles are listed in a spiral pattern that starts from the base of the monument and scrolls up to the decorative details beneath the standard-bearer’s platform. 

The monument’s front (east) base bears a dedication “to our brothers, beloved, honored, revered, who died that our country might live.” Just above the inscription, a wreath hook has been drilled into the monument’s base. The rear face reads “the defenders of the Union.”  

Soldiers' Monument, DanburyOn the column, the monument lists the following battles: Bull Run (near Manassas, Va.), Wilderness (near Spotsylvania, Va.)  Antietam (Sharpsburg, Md.), Fredericksburg (Va.), Gettysburg, Chancellorsville (Va.), Petersburg (Va.) and Port Hudson (La.). Since the battles don’t follow chronological or alphabetical order, we’re not sure how the sequence was determined. 

The monument sits in a small triangular park that also features a flagpole, a decorative lamppost and tasteful shrubbery along its West Street sides.


Soldiers' Monument, Danbury
Soldiers' Monument, Danbury