Scranton in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
World War One Memorial
— Scranton, Pennsylvania —
(list of the dead)
Topics. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, World I.
Location. 41° 24.048′ N, 75° 38.584′ W. Marker is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in Lackawanna County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of Mulberry Street and Nay Aug Road. Park at the Brooks Mine and walk to the path just past “Pioneer” (the gravity car exhibit) and turn right on the foot path. It is half way up the hill. You'll see the boulder in profile as you turn onto the path. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1901 Mulberry St, Scranton PA 18510, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The “Pioneer” (within shouting distance of this marker); Brooks Model Coal Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battleship Maine Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Everhart Museum Vietnam Veterans Memorial (about 300 feet away); Jerry Tomasetti (about 400 feet away); 200th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution (about 400 feet away); The Freedom Tree (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Scranton.
1. 100 Years Ago: Dedication of WWI Memorial Nay Aug Park, May 30, 1920
2020 article by Janice M. Gavern first published in the Lackawanna Historical Society pubication History Bytes.
It was a year and six months from the end of the Great War. One Memorial Day had already passed, but in the interim a planning committee had gotten the idea for a World War I Memorial to be displayed in Nay Aug Park.
The committee decided to use a large natural boulder of conglomerate rock weighing several tons as the holder for the bronze plate. It was placed in a newly planted oak grove halfway between Lake Lincoln and the Gravity Railroad car. A list of the men and women from Scranton who had died during WWI was published in the paper. Readers were asked to check the names and add information that would help the committee
Rupert W. Thomas, Chairman of the Tablet, went to New York to pick up the bronze tablet during the week of May 22. That would give them time to fasten the tablet to the large boulder. The bronze tablet or plate was designed with an American eagle in relief at the top. On either side, wreaths enclosed two dates, 1917 on one side, 1919 on the other. The dedication read: “In honor of the men and women of the city of Scranton who gave their lives in the world war for their country and for all mankind. These trees are dedicated as a living memorial.” Below the dedication is the alphabetical list of the 242 men and six women from Scranton who gave their lives.
A platform was built adjacent to the boulder to seat the speakers. The boulder was covered and would be unveiled at the ceremony.
The dedication ceremony was planned for May 30, with the actual Memorial Day ceremonies scheduled for the following day. One newspaper confused the dates, apparently not realizing that there were both a dedication ceremony and a variety of Memorial Day activities scheduled for the same weekend.
On the afternoon of the ceremony, community singing was organized before the event. Seventy five uniformed American Legion
At the site, families of the deceased were given a white silk badge with a gold star and the date and purpose, and directed to special seating. Red Cross workers distributed programs and Boy Scouts acted as ushers. The dedication ceremony started promptly at 4:00 PM.
The Scranton Republican newspaper estimated that 10,000 people attended. The paper also reported that in addition to veterans of WWI, veterans of the Civil War and the Spanish American War were also present.
The picture in the paper [Image 6 on this page] shows a group of Red Cross nurses in traditional white uniforms with headdresses that displayed a red cross. Miss Helen Miskell, who had lost two brothers to the war, was garbed as Columbia. Little Miss Mildred Perry, whose father had died in the War, was dressed in a miniature Red Cross nurse costume. She would be the one who unveiled the memorial. Also in the picture were the distinguished speakers, including Mayor Alex T. Connell, Chaplains W. J. Gibson of the 25th Engineers in France, Frederick Houghton, Rear Admiral A. M. Knight, Col David J. Davies and Hon. John G. Harmon.
There was a sixth woman listed: Miss Eugenia Hosie. Her family was involved in Red Cross work. Miss Hosie wanted to help, but was not trained. She and a friend were employed as canteen workers by the YMCA, and she died of Spanish Influenza shortly after getting to France. She was buried in England.
The main speaker was Hon. John G. Harmon. Judge Harmon warned that we must not forget our war patriotism in peace. Bolshevism has reared its head. Some of his words speak to our current situation, and he was speaking 100 years ago. He said, “Race riots have broken out. Strikes have throttled industry. Open lawlessness is worst of all, and all these things confront us. Does that sound familiar? What are we to do?” He recommended we "stick to our ancient moorings". He concluded
After singing “Nearer My God to Thee” with the crowd, Chaplin Houghton concluded the ceremony with a closing prayer.
The simple, elegant World War I Memorial is still displayed in the memorial grove. Take a walk in the park and stop to reflect on our fallen WWI brothers and sisters.
This Memorial Day, my comrade, 11th District American Legion Commander Gerry Heid, and I conducted a small remembrance ceremony in honor of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the memorial. Some of our pictures are on the PA Homepage. Although it isn’t the same as 10,000 live bodies, our ceremony will be posted online to show that we still remember.
The author of this article, Janice Gavern, is originally from South Scranton and is a graduate of South Scranton Central Catholic High School. Ms. Gavern earned a BS in Psychology with emphasis on Engineering from Wright State University, Dayton, OH, and an MS in Military Logistics Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB, OH. She is the current Vice Chair of the Women Veterans Committee, American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 27, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 27, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.