Today (May 25, 2015) is Memorial Day. Today is when we celebrate those that made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country both at home and abroad. If you want to see some more facts about this day, please check out “Rookie Notes”, which had an entry about how the day got started – it is really good reading.
Here in Charlotte we have memorials to most of the wars that Mecklenburg County has sent their sons and later their daughters to fight. Here are the ones that I found on a road trip across the county:
The American Revolution
I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the Battle of Charlotte memorial, I did find this one on Beatties Ford Road just north of Sunset Road. This commemorates the Skirmish at McIntyre’s Farm, which I am not too familiar with but will explore for a future blog post:
Plaque commemorating the skirmish at McIntyre’s Farm. This was erected by the Mecklenburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1901. Photo taken by the author.
The Civil War
Of course we have to memorialize the Civil War, after all we are in the South. Unlike a lot of towns our Civil War memorial is located in Elmwood Cemetery. Maintained by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp # 1423, they have also included a plaque commemorating the Confederate Navy Yard that I thought was lost when they tore down the old convention center:
Plaque commemorating the Confederate Navy Yard. Photo taken by the author.
At the entrance of the Confederate monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.
The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.
World War I
As we come up on the centennial of America’s entry into the war in 1917 and the building of Camp Greene on the city’s westside it is interesting that the memorial to the “Doughboys” has been moved several times since its dedication in 1923. First located near Central High School (now Central High Building at Central Piedmont Community College) it was moved to Cecil Street (now Kings Drive) near Memorial Stadium and moved to its current location in the 1960’s. This is a monument to a war that a lot of people in the United States have forgotten but marked the beginning of the country’s exit from the isolationist stance that it held since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823:
World War I Memorial dedicated in 1923. Photo taken by the author.
World War II
In the years between 1918 and 1941 Charlotte and the rest of the country enjoyed the roaring 20’s and endured the Great Depression after the Stock Market crash of November 1929. After we entered the Second World War in December 1941 we again sent our sons and daughters this time to “Make the World Safe for Democracy”. And again, some of our sons did not make it home. This time the Gold Star Mothers came together in 1949 to create the World War II memorial that would be located in Evergreen Cemetery which at that time was on the eastern edge of the city:
Plaque to the World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.
World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.
The Korean Conflict, which was fought from 1951-53 is one of those wars (but was actually a “Police Action”) that we as a nation had forgot about. But thanks to the veterans of the conflict, Mecklenburg County has the only memorial in the State of North Carolina to those that fought and died in that conflict. Located in the eastern part of Mint Hill, North Carolina on Fairview Road near I-485 it is a respectful place to reflect on the sacrifices made by our troops:
Wall at the Korean War Memorial showing the number of those KIA, MIA and the deadliest battles of the conflict. Photo taken by the author.
My husband at the Korean War Memorial. Photo taken by the author.
At the time that the country was involved in the war, it was thought that we should not have gotten involved and those that went over and made it back home were reviled as “baby killers” and other foul names. Over the years however, that view of those that fought in the war has changed. A memorial dedicated to those from Mecklenburg County was built and dedicated in 1989. Modeled on the memorial in Washington, DC it is located in Thompson Park in view of the John Belk Freeway and beside St. Mary’s Chapel. It is a quiet, reflective place that honors those who served and died from Mecklenburg County:
Plaque at the Vietnam Memorial. Photo taken by the author.
Vietnam Memorial Wall. Photo taken by the author.
I hope that everyone has had a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that were made to maintain our freedom on this day, for as someone told me “Freedom isn’t free”.
I got my information on the World War I statue from: http://doughboysearcher.weebly.com/charlotte-north-carolina.html