A map showing the location of each of White Chapel’s military memorials can be found here
On May 30, 1930, in an impressive ceremony attended by top military personnel and numerous city, state and federal government dignitaries, 41 men of the 339th Infantry and the 330th Engineers were finally laid to rest around the Polar Bear Memorial at White Chapel. 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 Léon Hermant, was carved from a solid block of white Georgia marble. The State of Michigan has officially designated it an Historic Site. Every year on Memorial Day, White Chapel hosts a Memorial Day ceremony in honor of these brave soldiers that is free and open to the general public.
Click here for more information about Michigan's Own Polar Bears, or here for information about the documentary film that premiered on PBS in 2010.
Click here for information about the Arlington National Cemetery WWI Memorial.
President Franklin 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 what was then the largest peacetime mass burial in U.S. history. Between 1947 and 1956, an additional 207 veterans joined their comrades and laid to rest in the special WWII Four Freedoms Memorial area. We are honored that so many other WWII veterans have chosen White Chapel as their final resting place. The WWII Four Freedoms Memorial serves as an homage to all Michigan WWII veterans. On on the second Sunday of every August, White Chapel hosts the Gold Star Mother’s V-J Day Ceremony to commemorate and honor our WWII veterans.
Click here for information about the national WWII memorial.
White Chapel’s memorial to all Korean War Veterans is a bronze plaque 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 they did. They fought on Heartbreak Ridge and they waded ashore at Inchon. They froze in the winter cold and baked in the summer sun. At times they were greatly outnumbered but they fought on and many gave their lives for Freedom...for Justice...and for Peace. Click here for information about the national Korean War Memorial.
White Chapel’s memorial to all Vietnam War Veterans is a bronze plaque 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. Many of those fortunate enough to return continued to wrestle with the horrors of war. The memorial is intended to give these brave men and women the respect and honor that they rightly deserve for their service and sacrifice. Click here for information about the national Vietnam 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 in granite below the bronze memorial plaque are the names of the Michigan solders who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Persian Gulf War.
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. Click here for information about Arlington National Cemetery.
White Chapel dedicated its exquisite War On Terror Memorial in a solemn ceremony on September 11, 2016, the anniversary of the most deadly terrorist attacks on US soil. The ceremony was attended by local and state dignitaries with a large and respectful audience. The bronze globe memorial depicts the worldwide breadth of the ongoing struggle to end terrorism.