Civil War Monuments Rededicated in Waukesha Park
Monuments honoring Civil War soldiers rededicated during Civil War Honor Day.
The Civil War Honor Day was full of education and remembrance as Waukesha honored the soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War.
The honor day took place Saturday with rededications galore. There were many activities to choose from for all ages at the Waukesha County Museum. It was also the 100th birthday of the Civil War Monument in Cutler Park. The monument was rededicated with pieces of the original dedication that took place in 1911.
At 2 p.m. Mayor Jeff Scrima gave the introduction and welcoming to the crowd and presenters at the Civil War Monument in Cutler Park. Scrima thanked the crowd for “coming out today to celebrate our Civil War monument rededication.”
Also in attendance were members of the State of Wisconsin Sons of Veterans of the Civil War, Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings, Alderman Brian White and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.
“I’m honored to be part of this event that commemorates the lives of so many brave and courageous Americans,” Vrakas said.
Vrakas also told the story of the monument and its history. He told of how on Sept. 20, 1911, Union Army Veterans and their families gathered in the same spot in remembrance. At that time it was the 50th anniversary of the first Waukesha regimen that left to fight in the Civil War. In 1887 Matthias L. Snyder, who would become mayor of Waukesha in 1904, headed a group to create the monument.
The veteran on the top of the monument weighs two-thousand pounds and took three weeks to travel from Vermont.
“The soldier was designed to reflect simplicity and to reflect dignity; yet to sit in contrast with the green trees surrounding him,” said Vrakas.
At the time it was built, it was also a remembrance and essentially a grave marker for those that didn’t return home, making it a mourning spot for families. The soldier not only acts as a remembrance of Civil War soldiers, but the sacrifice of all veterans in Waukesha County.
The Milwaukee American Legion Band played music of the time, including When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Battle Hymn of the Republic and God Bless America.
“Remember this happens only once every hundred years,” said Tom Ludka, of Waukesha County Veteran’s Services.
The monument located in Prairie Home Cemetery honoring Waukesha’s Civil War soldiers was also rededicated.