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Help Restore the America Triumphant Statue in Pershing Field!

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Posted by PERSHING FIELD GARDEN FRIENDS MEMORIAL COMMITTEE on November 17, 2005 at 12:50:16:

On the afternoon of July 4, 1922 thousands of Jersey City residents turned out at Pershing Field to view the unveiling of the memorial, "America Triumphant," erected by popular subscription in memory of the 147 Hudson City war heroes, residents of the old 10th, 11th and 12th Wards, who gave their lives in World War I. The ceremony was preceded by a military procession from the Armory on Mercer Street to Pershing Field. Many more thousands had gathered along the line of march decorated by what was said to be the greatest flag display Jersey City had ever seen.

At Pershing Field the memorial containing the America Triumphant statue, cast by the famed sculptor James Novelli, and a bronze tablet containing the names of the 147 heroes, was unveiled by a local Civil War veteran and his grandson, a veteran of the world war. A bi-plane overhead slowly dropped a single rose for each of the lost sons of Hudson County until an immense bouquet lay at the foot of the monument.

Despite such a heroic beginning, time has not been kind to the memorial. Good-hearted efforts to maintain the statue with layers of paint has caused it to lose its patina and intricate detail. The granite boulder on which it rests has been covered in a garish paint that belies the solemnity of the piece. Even worse, the original tablet containing the names of the citizens who made the supreme sacrifice for their country has been lost for years.

The "Pershing Field Garden Friends" association has begun a campaign to raise the funds to restore the memorial to its original state and once again enshrine the names of those Hudson City residents who gave their lives in the cause of their country.

Why should we do this? There is a covenant between generations that can not be ignored. Those of us today who strive to give our children a better life tomorrow should never forget that we owe a debt to earlier generations who did the same for us. It is only proper we accept our responsibility to this effort to honor these lost Hudson City heroes of an earlier time. To do less would make our current proclamations to remember those who have given their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the World Trade Center seems hollow.

Please send as much or as little as you can afford for this restoration effort. This is a project of remembrance. A thousand modest contributions by individuals who take the time to remember these fallen fellow citizens are much preferable to a handful of corporate contributions. Donations can be made payable to PFGF Memorial Fund and sent to PFGF, P.O. Box 17180, Jersey City, NJ, 07307. If you would like to participate or need further information you can call 201-963-0290 or e-mail me at



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