Pieces of the Past: Soldiers and Sailors

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Photo by Brian Hagberg

We drive by it often without a second thought. You see it on Channel 24’s Warren camera. I remember the first time I actually took the time to get a close-up look at it. A Boro police officer demanded, “GET OFF THERE!”

Despite the forced evacuation, I read, “They fought the good fight.”

The Warren Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument remains a testament to the men, women, and kids who served to protect the Union during the Civil war.

The Warren County Commissioners and members of the G.A.R. took plenty of time to create it. In fact, it was more of a community project than I realized. For starters, the people had a lot to say about where it was built.

It was 1908 when a civic-minded group toured the Gettysburg battlefields for inspiration. The group had a budget of $20,000. They hired a firm from Buffalo to build it. BUT…The commissioners chose the courthouse yard as the site for it!

As the public got word of the plan outcries rose. A more visible location like the riverfront or Central Park was suggested.

The site of course ended up being “next to the suspension bridge.” Since 1909 it has stood to remind us all of the sacrifices made by our forefathers.

Next trip by, go ahead and read the plaques, but don’t climb on it to read them!