The central vision of the Memorial Park stems from the memorial wall. The wall contains approximately 15,000 names of men and women from both Delaware and New Jersey who have lost their lives serving our country in various conflicts.
It’s meant to serve as a long-lasting icon of respect and remembrance for the general public to see, and all Veterans and their families to have. The DRBA hosts ceremonies at the wall biannually, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, always to a somber but very proud group of Veterans.
For a full listing of the names, click here
A flag for each branch of the United States military, five in total, are positioned at and overlook the War Memorial. They stand as tribute to the diverse span of men and women who have served in our armed forces.
Erected in 1993, these flags were first dedicated to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. The larger American flag that stands proudly in front of these is representative of unity and patriotism.
Donated to the park in 1966 by the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Delaware, the plaque and headstone is positioned under a beautiful American Holly tree, the official tree of the State of Delaware. Placed along the Veterans Memorial Park walkway path to honor war veterans of Delaware and New Jersey. The American Legion Auxiliary is an organization of volunteers, dedicated to serving and helping American veterans.
The Reflecting Pool at the War Memorial is a hugely symbolic gesture allowing veterans and their families the opportunity to do just that: reflect. Originally dedicated at the Memorial Day Service in 1995, the Pool was part of a significant restoration project completed both by the DRBA maintenance team and outside contractors at the time. Positioned directly in front of the War Memorial’s remembrance wall, the Reflecting Pool is a beautiful and soothing presence on the site.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge is dedicated to the brave men and women of Delaware and New Jersey who gave their lives serving in the Armed Forces during World War II and all military conflicts to follow. The New Jersey bound span of the Bridge was dedicated on August 18, 1951, while the Delaware bound Span’s dedication took place on September 12, 1968.
The plaque dedicated to Garrett E. Lyons, who contributed so much to the Authority. He was instrumental in the Bridge’s completion, as well as obtaining the land necessary to build the current Veterans Memorial Park site. In 1955, Mr. Lyons served as the first Director of the Delaware Interstate Highway Division, the forerunner to the present day Authority. Mr. Lyons passed on February 6, 1960.
In November 2003, this majestic eagle was dedicated to our Veterans whose loyalty and service during times of war and peace define this great nation!
The Korean War Memorial was installed and dedicated on Memorial Day of 2003 and stands as a profound testament to the brother and sisterhood felt by the Korean War Veterans of Delaware. That particular association funded the entire project, which was designed by Jay Weber, a Korean War Veteran himself. The memorial has served as an outlet for these Veterans and their families to express their sentiments, as well as a chance for reflection.
A plaque remembering those who died during the construction of the Delaware Memorial Bridge is displayed on the opposite stair post to the plaque honoring Bridge employees killed in the line of duty. Six construction personnel died working on the South Span of the Bridge: William Church, George fisher, David Sarvetnick, Mack Smith, Owen P. Stuckey and James Austin White. Three men died while constructing the North Span: Paul Artis, Edward Clark, Jr., and Walter Fitzgerald. The DRBA greatly honors and appreciates the labor these men provided to build the Bridge.
At the base of the steps leading up to the War Memorial a plaque has been displayed that honors Delaware Memorial Bridge personnel killed in the line of duty. These personnel are Harry P. Cloud, James G. Wilson and Vince A. Julia.
Patrolman Harry P. Cloud joined the Delaware Memorial Bridge police force in 1953 and served for nineteen months. In July 1955, while performing a traffic diversion assignment in the area of the DMB toll plaza, Harry was tragically struck by a passing vehicle. Officer Cloud was the first individual killed in the line of duty at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The firing range used for training by DRBA police officers has been dedicated in his honor.
James G. Wilson started as a maintenance employee in 1981, working in both the maintenance and toll departments at the Authority. In April 1985, Jimmy was cleaning Toll Booth 8 of the westbound toll plaza when he was tragically struck and killed by a tractor-trailer. Jimmy is the only maintenance employee who lost his/her life in the line of duty at the Authority. In his honor, the Delaware Memorial Bridge’s central maintenance building now bears his name, The James G. Wilson Maintenance Building.
Patrolman Vince A. Julia was first hired as a police dispatcher for the DRBA, later graduating from the New Castle County Police Academy in 1994. He spent his first year as Officer with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Patrol Unit. A year later, he was transferred back to the Delaware Memorial Bridge Patrol Unit. In February 1996, Vince died while assisting a disabled tractor-trailer on the northbound span. A dump truck, which was traveling in the closed lane, struck the rear of his police car pushing it into the disabled tractor-trailer. A fire erupted, destroying the squad car. In his honor, the Authority’s building that houses the police department was dedicated in his honor – The Vincent A. Julia Building.
The Desert Shield – Desert Storm memorial was erected on Veterans Day of 1991. The plaque honors military personnel for their service in the Persian Gulf against Iraqi forces. It serves as a lasting tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces who courageously performed their duties in the Desert Shield Operation and the Desert Storm War Action in Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
A beautiful vision evolved into a beautiful statue found near the Reflecting Pool on the Memorial grounds on Veterans Day in 1998. This soldier statue, also referred to as “One Army”, was created to honor all the men and women from Delaware and New Jersey who were killed or declared missing in action in combat since the Korean Conflict. “One Army” evokes a sense of support and love for these brave men and women.
The statue is of a 45-inch bronze solider proudly holding an American flag. The sculptor, Don Rubin, himself served in the U.S. Army Reserves, and in turn developed a passion for action-inspired artistry. The contributing memorialist on the granite base of the statue was Doug Logan, a talented artist who has done stone work for various memorials, including pieces for the Military Academy at West Point.
Memorial Day, 2006, the Memorial Garden and Blue Star Memorial Marker were unveiled to the public. This tribute was donated by Lucrezia Lackey, President of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs and Virginia Pellegrini, Chairwoman of the Landscape Design Council. The Marker honors all men and women who have served, are currently serving, or will serve in the United States armed forces.
My stone is red for the blood they shed,
The medal I bear is my country’s way to show they care.,
If I could be seen by all mankind,
Maybe peace will come in my lifetime.
This touching poem signifies a Purple Heart, an important addition to Memorial Park. Erected by the Department of Delaware’s Military Order of the Purple Heart, the memorial pays homage to all men and women wounded or killed serving our country.
Often overlooked and dubbed “the silent service”, submarine use in WWII was integral to our war efforts. In May of 2001, an impressive black marble sculpture was created for the Memorial Park to honor these efforts. The sculpture incorporates engravings of text and images, the text being the names of each American sub lost and the fallen service people, the images being sketches of the subs. There were 52 submarines lost in total, each named after a state, California and New York named twice. Delaware’s submarine, the USS Kete, sank off the coast of Japan in 1945, resulting in the deaths of all 87 men aboard. It remains a mystery as to what exactly caused this tragic occurrence.
On Arbor Day of 2004, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs (DFGC) and the Delaware River and Bay Authority planted two Carolina Silverbell (Halesia Carolina) trees to honor those men and women from Delaware and New Jersey who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storms. The beautiful flowers, trees, and grounds are maintained by Authority maintenance employees.