World War I Monument, New Britain

New Britain honors its World War I heroes and veterans with a 90-foot column in Walnut Hill Park.

The tall stone column, topped by two sculpted eagles, bears a dedication at its front (north) base reading, “MDCCCCXXVII (1927). The city of New Britain here records with pride that of her citizens, more than four thousand served in the World War 1917-1918.”

The plaque also has symbols representing the Army, the Navy, industry and the Red Cross. It appears that bronze ornamentation that once surrounded this plaque has been removed.

A dedication plaque on the south  base of the column reads, “To her sons who gave their lives to their country, their names are here inscribed. Their memory lives in the heart of a grateful city.”

Just below the eagles, the column appears to be wrapped with a flag that’s draped over the column’s fluting.

Surrounding the monument are two semi-circular walls bearing bronze plaques that list the name, rank, unit affiliation and date of death for 123 residents (61 plaques on the west side, and 62 plaques on the east side). Bronze poppies can be seen between the plaques. Ornamental palms at the ends of the rows of names also appears to have been removed.

Four large light fixtures near the monument are decorated with butterflies symbolizing renewal and resurrection.

New Britain dedicated its World War I monument on September 22, 1928. The monument was designed by Harold Van Buren Magonigle, who also created a similar monument in Kansas City as well a firefighters’ monument on Riverside Drive in New York City.

The stone column replaced an honor roll and memorial near one of the park’s entrances.

Just south of the World War I monument, a 1999 monument honors the contributions of women to the nation’s wars.

With our usual poor timing, our visit came just before the planting of more than 750 rose bushes by the Friends of the Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden in the courtyard south of the monument.

Soldiers’ Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New BritainNew Britain honors its Civil War veterans with an elaborate monument in the heart of downtown.

The domed monument, at the north end of the city’s Central Park, features a gilded allegorical figure representing Victory as well as gilded torches and a variety of Classical architectural decorative elements including columns, seashells and lots of swirls.

Inscriptions on the front (south) face include “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right” from the conclusion of Lincoln’s second Inaugural address and “Oh rare and royal was the sacrifice.”

Inscriptions on the east face include a “Let us have peace,” quote from U.S. Grant as well as a dedication reading “This monument is built in grateful remembrance of the soldiers and sailors who in the war to maintain the Union offered their lives in the cause of mankind that coming generations, taught by their example, may cherish the fruits of their valor and devotion, and make their memory immortal.”

The north face bears a quote from U.S. Sen. Daniel Webster, “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one inseparable.”

Soldiers' Monument, New BritainAn inscription on the west face lists the years of the Civil War in Roman numerals, as well as “Erected by the Citizens of New Britain 1899” (also in Roman numerals).

The east and west faces are also decorated with U.S. shields with eagles and crossed swords, and well as large lion heads above fountains that were later converted into planters.

Four stone pillars around the base bear the names of Civil War battles and support light fixtures.

The monument’s interior is inscribed with the names of local residents who fought in the war.

The allegorical Winged Victory figure holds an olive branch to symbolize the reconciliation of the Union and Confederate states. The figure was replaced in 2000 as part of a restoration performed for the monument’s 100th anniversary.

The monument’s architect, Ernest Flagg, was also responsible for the Singer Building and St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, buildings for the U.S. Naval Academy, and several buildings in Hartford.

Soldiers' Monument, New BritainAt the south end of the park, three monuments honor New Britain’s veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

The vintage postcard at the bottom of this post was mailed on July 3, 1908 from New Britain to East Hartford, CT. The building behind the monument, a hotel at the time, survives today as New Britain’s City Hall.

Source: Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain

Soldiers' Monument, New Britain


National Iwo Jima Memorial, New Britain and Newington

National Iwo Jima MemorialThe more than 6,800 Americans killed in the World War II battle for the island of Iwo Jima are honored at the National Iwo Jima Memorial on the Newington/New Britain border.

The monument, dedicated in 1995 by the Iwo Jima Survivors Association, is similar to the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. Both were based on an AP photograph depicting the raising of the American Flag over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima by five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman.

The Connecticut monument, which is almost 40 feet high, includes a  bronze statue of the servicemen raising a 48-star flag. Rocks from Mt. Suribachi surround the figures’ feet, and sand from the invasion beach has been incorporated into the monument’s concrete.

National Iwo Jima MemorialThe front (west) face of the monument’s polished granite base lists Connecticut residents killed in the fight for Iwo Jima. The back of the base includes information about the battle, and lists the names of the servicemen depicted in the statue as well as those of the 27 men who received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the nearly month-long battle.

The north and south sides include engraved images from the battle, quotes about its significance and a map of the island.

The monument, visible from Connecticut’s Route 9, also has two granite monument honoring the service of the Medical Corps and military chaplains in the battle. An eternal flame burns from a black granite torch base north of the monument.

National Iwo Jima MemorialThanks to Dad for contributing the images for this post.

National Iwo Jima Memorial

National Iwo Jima Memorial

National Iwo Jima Memorial