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Memorials

WWI Polar Bear Memorial

On May 30, 1930, in an impressive ceremony attended by top military personnel and countless city, state and governmental dignitaries, 41 men of the 339th Infantry and the 330th Engineers were finally laid to rest around the Polar Bear Memorial. In subsequent years, an additional 15 men (one in 1932, 13 in 1934 and one in 1935) of the 339th Infantry and 330th Engineers were laid to rest around the monument. These were members of Michigan’s own Polar Bear Division who made the supreme sacrifice in the far off frozen tundra of northern Russia during World War I. The famed memorial, created by the renowned French sculptor Leon Hermont, was carved from a solid block of white Georgia marble. It has been designated an Historic Site by the State of Michigan. Every year on Memorial Day, White Chapel hosts a Memorial Day ceremony in honor of these brave soldiers at 11 a.m. that is free and open to the general public.

For more information about Michigan's Own Polar Bears:
pbma.grobbel.org and www.michigansmilitarymuseum.com
For information about the Polar Bear documentary film (PBS television premier 2010): www.polarbeardocumentary.com
For information about the Arlington National Cemetery WWI Memorial: www.arlingtoncemetery.net/ww1-mem.htm

 

WWII Four Freedoms Memorial

President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms - jointly initiated with Winston Churchill in the historic Atlantic Charter - are immortalized in marble, creating one of White Chapel’s most impressive memorials. It was dedicated on V-J Day, 1948, when 115 veterans were returned from overseas and laid to rest in the then-largest peacetime mass burial in U.S. history. There are a total of 322 WWII veterans who are laid to rest in the special WWII Four Freedoms Memorial area. Forty one (41) veterans were returned from oversees and laid to rest in 1947. A total of one hundred seventy were laid to rest in 1948. One hundred three were laid to rest in 1949. Six were laid to rest in 1950. One veteran was laid to rest in 1952 and one in 1956. We are honored that there are countless other WWII veterans who have chosen White Chapel as their final resting place. The WWII Four Freedoms Memorial serves as an homage to all of Michigan WWII veterans. On the first Sunday of every August at 12 noon, White Chapel hosts the Gold Star Mother’s V-J Day Ceremony to commemorate and honor our WWII veterans. The Gold Star Mothers and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) participate in a parade towards the Four Freedom Memorial and lay wreaths at the foot of the memorial.

For information about the national WWII memorial: www.wwiimemorial.com

 

Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial is a memorial to all Korean War Veterans. The memorial bronze plaque is set in polished granite standing eight feet tall. As the memorial describes, the soldiers were told they were going to have peace even if we have to fight for it. And so they did. They fought in the mountains on Heartbreak Ridge and waded ashore at Inchon. They froze in the winter and baked in the summer sun. At times they were greatly outnumbered but fought on and many gave their lives for Freedom...for Justice...and for Peace.

For information about the national Korean War Memorial: www.nps.gov/kwvm

 

Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial pays homage to all Vietnam War Veterans. The memorial bronze plaque is set in polished granite standing eight feet tall. It was erected in memory of the young men and women who lost their youthful dreams fighting for freedom and honor. Of those fortunate enough to return, many did so, and transformed into adults wrestling with the horrors of war. The memorial is designed to give the respect and honor that they dearly deserve for their service and sacrifice.

For information about the national Vietnam War Memorial: www.thewall-usa.com

 

Persian Gulf War Memorial

The Persian Gulf War Memorial is a memorial to all Persian Gulf War Veterans. Those who served in this combat were devoted and committed to the hard work of freedom. Inscribed below the bronze memorial in granite are those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Persian Gulf War from Michigan.

POW/MIA Memorial

The POW/MIA Memorial is a memorial to all American Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action. It commemorates these brave soldiers, standing as a declaration that we will never forget them and long for their return.

 

For information about Arlington National Cemetery: www.arlingtoncemetery.net

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