In 1940, during the original dedication of this memorial at Skinners Park, Ora Wheat, commander of Roosa-Fleming VFW Post 161, declared the 20-ton granite disc monument “dedicated to the memory of the living and dead.” Post 161 planned to add later an eternal flame and a marker intended by General Chairman Harold E. Scales during planning stages in 1938. A re-dedication ceremony on November 11, 2020 included the addition of the flame and a bronze plaque naming the 34 Port Jervis men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during World War I. They are: Joseph M. Alvord, James C. Bilz, William E. Bross, John Collins Jr., Tracy K. Decker, Aloysius A. Delaney, William J. Earley, James Fleming, Lewis V. Gray, George Hamilton, Harrison E. Hornbeck, Norman Howe, Charles Kalin, Walter Koenig, Joseph Mascanz, Elliott McAllister, Joseph McGuire, Charles F. Meade, Hugh Leonard Miller, William Mulligan, Horace Murtha, Francis J. O’Connor, Levi Owens, Daniel Joseph Quigley, Harold Reid, Harold P. Rooney, Isaac H. Roosa, William J. Ryan, Charles Shaneberg, Arthur Sterritt, Bruno Terpilowsky, Samuel Thorne, William Williams, and Fred Youmans.
The Loudoun County Memorial Plaque was erected 1921, three years after the end of World War I. The plaque, on a stone monument, lists 30 names of Loudoun County residents who died serving during the Great War. The plaque originally separated the names of the three Black people of the group: Pvts. Ernest Gilbert; Valentine B. Johnson; and Samuel C. Thornton. On its 100th anniversary, November 11, 2021, the memorial was rededicated with a new plaque of similar design with all of the names listed together alphabetically, not segregated.
This bronze sculpture, entitled Return from the Argonne by British sculptor James Butler, RA, was dedicated on November 11, 2021 in front of the City of Montgomery's Union Station.
The Return from the Argonne complements The Rainbow Soldier, another bronze sculpture from James Butler dedicated in August 2017, which remembers specifically the legacy of the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the famous 42nd Rainbow Division, and their contributions in multiple battles that were vital to winning the war. Known as “The Immortals,” these heroic soldiers, many of who made the ultimate sacrifice, were revered for their unwavering courage in the face of unrelenting enemy attack. Their bravery in fighting alongside the French at the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm helped push back the Germans at the Ourcq River, one of the most critical points of the war.
The Rainbow Soldier was gifted to the City of Montgomery by the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation through the generosity of longtime community and business leader Nimrod T. Frazer, Silver Star. It was originally commissioned in 2011 at the Croix Rouge Farm, located to the south of the French city of Fère-en-Tardenois on the site of the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm; the Montgomery sculpture is a second casting of the one in France.
It was from this very same Victorian Railroad station that the soldiers from Alabama departed for France in August 1917 and where they returned in May 1919. The Return from the Argonne memorializes these soldiers, as well as all Alabamians who fought in the Meuse Argonne campaign, specifically the African American soldiers from the 366th Infantry in the 92nd division, the majority of whom called Alabama home.
Another Alabama native son, the famous band leader James Reese Europe, from Mobile, also served in the Argonne. He led the military band of the 369th regiment (Harlem Hell Fighters) which brought jazz to Europe.
This is a 2/3 scale skeleton form of a WWI SPAD XIII airplane. It was sculpted by Lucky Styles, with assistance from Sgt. William Harrick, Jr. A plaque in front gives some details about the performance of the French-built plane (Societe' Pour L'Aviation et ses Derive's). It also commemorates Lt. Frank Luke, Jr., a Phoenix native who in his SPAD XIII downed 18 enemy aircraft and balloons during 17 days of aerial combat, earning him the distinction of being the first U.S. aviator to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. See photo gallery for photo of Lt. Luke.