In parades and ceremonies, the men and women who served in the military and fought and died in wars were remembered today across America and all over Baltimore.
On this Veterans Day, we thought we’d tell the story behind one of Baltimore’s many small neighborhood veterans’ memorials.
There are, in fact, 69 veterans’ memorials listed in the city, ranging from the grand War Memorial Building on Gay Street (where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake participated in services today) to the tiny stones and plaques in the city’s pocket parks.
Brew reader Teresa Duggan called our attention to one of the latter, the World War II Servicemen’s Memorial in Hampden, at the corner of Keswick Road and 33rd Street, next to a little playground and basketball court. It’s just south of the 7-11 convenience store.
The stone memorial wall and inscribed plaque commemorate the “600 boys and girls from this neighborhood who served their country during this time of conflict.” It lists by name the 19 who died in that war.
According to a 2007 article in Historic Hampden Happenings (a publication of the local Community Council), the memorial was built with funds raised by the Mothers Club of Hampden-Mount Vernon and dedicated in 1945.
“For a number of years following the war, parades and block parties were held on Keswick Road to honor those who served,” according to the article by Carole Lewis.
The Sun’s Jacques Kelley seems to have run across a picture of the old wooden memorial in 1994 and puzzled over it, but the article in Hampden Happenings 13 years later seems to have his answer.
The spot may be out-of-the-way, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten.
In this photo Duggan shot yesterday, you can see a red, white and blue wreath someone had placed there below the names.