I grew up in Bellwood, a western suburb of Chicago and home of Memorial Park, with its round above-ground pool and WWII monuments. I think one was a Howitzer. The park is now Stevenson Park, and the war monuments are long gone. It got me wondering if there are still any local parks with war monuments. And what happened to the war monuments that were removed? Did they go to museums? Get junked/melted down?
I remember Dad and the other WWII veterans standing at the monuments with bowed heads during Memorial Day ceremonies. How vivid the memories must have been! Odd to think Dad, nearly all the other veterans, and most of the monuments are gone now. I guess I’d like to think the monuments, at least, are still around somewhere.
In Aus it’s partly political, and partly just life.
(In Aus) Taking their lead from Chinese and Russian political influence, objects were removed from public display and scrapped. In Aus, because of history, this mostly applied to objects from WWI and earlier.
Then the city grew and changed, and the new areas don’t have monuments. The trees were removed for road widening. The companies closed or renamed and changed hands. New memorials, when added, were smaller and of a different nature.
We’ve also lost all our old railway engines, which used to be in parks everywhere, both here and in the USA. they rusted out, and had asbestos. Like the old guns and aircraft, they were sold for scrap metal.
Every small town in Ohio near me has such a park. I was just looking at some nice howitzers in Lorain yesterday. I like the one in South Amherst the best, it has a mounted machine gun and you don’t see that very often.
Melbourne… thats a city that has grown rapidly and has many very many immigrants .
Chinese don’t like to remember their backwardness during the world wars… They were even tricked by germany into thinking they were safe in WW II… They were Germanys ally, but Japan invaded them.
Why did he say Russia ?
There were many crimea war bounty guns (Russia’s guns captured.) on display, in every country town and in main cities, as the 18xx cannons were useless for WW 1 … And there were far too many to be consumed in making the Victoria Cross.
The Crimean war is a bit embarrassing for the aggressors (against Russia)… why did they bother attacking ?
Sydney has Crimea War guns at Centennial Park, Bradley head, Parramatta Park, and many more, and Taronga Zoo has 3 British mortars that were found in land fill under the old avairy. (Probably disposed of by the army to make room for WW 1’s defenses.)
There’s russian guns at wollongong’s central beach, crimean and WW1 guns at Fort Scratchley Newcastle, and pairs of Crimean guns in Gregson Park Hamilton and Silo Hill Stroud … There’s WW 2 howitzers at various parks and RSL style clubs.
That just means that I can tell you there’s heaps in NSW, Australia. I don’t see any reason that is different in the USA… the USA has many war planes on display, I recall…
It would seem that the main reason that an area doesn’t have any is that they didnt get any at the original time of dispersion. If the people in charge of that state,county,city,town made gifting guns to there difficult , the area didn’t get them. And city parks get shifted around, eg one park is built on , and then the football field nearby gets reverted to park land, and the gun is likely to be unintesting to the modern park designer.
In the UK, it would be pretty well unthinkable for something dedicated as a war memorial to disappear - if anything there are more appearing in recent years to acknowledge previously ignored/overlooked events and participants.
But they tend to be dedicated sculptures, plaques and the like. Incidental objects and artefacts like guns and trains might well be moved around or disposed of, though if there is any historical value attached, someone’s likely to kick up a fuss.
You seem to be referring to old weapons set in public parks, in front of VFW halls, etc rather than memorials consisting of statues, engraved stones etc. I think the former sometimes get removed because they deteriorate (especially pneumatic tires on post WWI artillery pieces or vehicles, or military vehicles themselves) the sponsoring organization can’t keep up with the maintenance and they become eyesores. They might also present ‘attractive nuisance’ liability issues in some cases that weren’t considered when they were put out.
But I’ve seldom heard of statue/stone type memorials (aside from Confederate ones) being removed. And actual WWII memorials are surprisingly rare to begin with at least in this part of the country (NJ). Almost every town that existed at the time has a Civil War and WWI memorial erected not long after, and I’ve never heard of one being removed. Actual WWII memorials if they exist are from longer after that war and many towns don’t have them. More often it is a piece of military equipment signifying WWII and sometimes they do seem to be removed for the reasons given above.
Longer ago, many or most artillery pieces set out as monuments in parks etc. before WWII were collected for urgently needed scrap metal during that war though nowadays an urgent need for scrap isn’t the reason. Many Civil War land and naval artillery pieces still exist now, but there were many more prior to WWII.
While many individual ones are no doubt neglected, here in the UK over the last decade or so the Imperial War Museum has been compiling an online War Memorials Register of all the ones in the country. Complete with all the names recorded.
I think the memorials with the names of local soldiers who died in one or other of those wars, are likely to be with us for a good long while - ornamentation such as statues and guns might be removed or changed, but I feel like there would be a pretty big reaction if the memorials themselves were removed.
The one in my village is the focus of Remembrance day locally - The main street will be shut to traffic during the acts of remembrance.
When I was 14 (many moons ago), I took a schoolkids tour of the Mediterranean which included 3 days in Israel. One of my most vivid memories is of a burned out Arab tank which had been left where it was destroyed during the 6-Days War, on the borders of a Kibbutz. The sight made me think pretty deeply about what it must be like to have to fight for your home and even the right to live.