Paterson's Second Ward War Memorial is an allegorical female figure of America. She stands holding a staff in her right hand, classically draped in long robes. On her head, she wears a laurel wreath. A flag with the words "Don't Tread on Me" hangs on her left side.
The sculptor was Paterson's own, Gaetano Federici.
The inscription reads: "Erected by the People of the Second Ward and Friends in honor of those who served and died for our country in the World War 1917-1918 / Died in Service (list of 25 names) Nurses in Service (list of 10 names) Enlisted in Service (list of 38 names)."
A bronze plaque on back of base lists an additional 216 names.
The sculpture was originally installed on a center island in Union Avenue, then was moved to the north side of the street, and was later relocated to West Side Park in 1949 due to traffic concerns and increasing vandalism. In West Side Park, the sculpture was installed in the center of a large circular reflecting pool, but the pool was later drained. Vandalism continued in West Side Park, and in 1979, the sculpture was knocked to the ground in an unsuccessful theft attempt.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #77002923.
Photos courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)