In 1918, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, “The Great War” came to an end. 2020 commemorates the 101st anniversary of “Veterans Day”.
The “war to end all wars” was one of the most destructive wars in modern history. The conflict resulted in the death of more than 16 million soldiers and civilians. One year later Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” marking the first anniversary of the end of World War I.
In 1926 Congress passed a resolution to observe Armistice annually, which became a national holiday in 1938. In 1954 the annual observance was renamed “Veterans Day” by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of WW I and WW II. Remembrance Day takes place in Canada on November 11th. And, Britain has Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday of November.
We honor those who have served our country, whether living or gone. Muskegon County is proud of its many monuments honoring our veterans. Visit Muskegon is equally proud to share our many of these outdoor sites and monuments with you.
Take a walking tour of these Muskegon County Military, Monument and Memorial sites:
Civil War Monuments in Hackley Park
General Ulysses S. Grant by Artist J. Massey Rhind
William Tecumseh Sherman also by J. Massey Rhind
David Farragut by Artist Charles Niehaus
Sailors and Soldiers Monument in Hackley Park
Standing guard in the center of Hackley Park is the Sailors and Soldiers Monument. Beautiful, bronze “Victory” graces a cylinder of granite that reaches 75 feet to the sky. Around the base, four statues represent Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, & Navy. It was created by sculptor Joseph Carabelli and gifted to the city by Charles Hackley on May 30, 1892.
Statue of General Philip Kearny at the Corner of Peck and Terrace
Nicknamed “The One Armed Devil.” Philip Kearny Jr. was a United States Army officer, notable for his leadership in the Mexican–American War and American Civil War. Kearny was killed in action in the 1862 Battle of Chantilly and his body is laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. There are four castings of this bronze sculpture by artist Henry Kirke Brown. They are installed at the United States Capitol, in Washington, D.C., Military Park in Newark, NJ, Kearny, NJ (a town named after the general) and here in Muskegon at Kearny Park. The Muskegon sculpture was gifted to the City of Muskegon and the Phil Kearny Post No. 7, G.A.R. by Charles H. Hackley in 1901. The granite pedestal was designed by Joseph Carabelli. Additionally, a beautiful, historic fountain is located in Kearny Park.
Address: Corner of Peck and Terrace in Downtown Muskegon
USS LST 393 Veterans Museum and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy at the Mart Dock
While not open for tours during winter, visitors can still and marvel at the exterior of the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. Bike or walk along the Lakeshore Trail, or park at the Mart Dock to view her and the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” sculpture. She is one of only two LSTs to survive in their original configuration. During her service she won battle stars for the Sicilian occupation, Salerno landings, and the Invasion of Normandy. The LST 393 made 75 voyages to foreign shores and was one of the only LSTs to be equipped with an airplane. The USS LST 393 will open for tours in May of 2021.
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by sculptor Ari Norris is located near the bow of the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. The statue represents Muskegon-born Clarence Zylman, the famed Boogie Woogie Bugler of World War II and topic of the famous The Andrews Sisters song, later re-recorded by Bette Midler.
Address: 560 Mart St, Muskegon, MI 49440
USS Silversides Submarine Museum and Coast Guard Cutter McLane
The USS Silversides is a historic Gato class submarine. Gato refer to submarines built for the US Navy and launched between 1941-43. During her service, she received 12 battle stars and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for cumulative action over four patrols. She is credited with sinking 23 ships – the third-most of any allied World War II submarine! According to JANAC (Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee) she has the most prolific combat record of any still extant American Submarine. Also docked in the Muskegon channel is the USCGC McLane. She is the 22nd of the 125ft Active Class of Cutters built for the United States Coast Guard. The American Brown Boveri Electric Corp. Shipyard at Camden, NJ “laid her down” in early 1925. She was commissioned into service April 1927. Decommissioned in 1969, she was eventually acquired by the Museum in 1993.
Tours are available year round. Hours are 10:00 am – 5:30 pm, Sunday through Saturday. Your combination ticket includes a tour of the Submarine, Cutter and Indoor Museum!
Download a coloring page of the USS Silversides here https://bit.ly/ActivityPageVM
Address: 1346 Bluff St, Muskegon, MI 49441
Veteran’s Memorial Park Located on the Causeway between Muskegon and North Muskegon
Located on the Causeway at the East End of Muskegon Lake is ”Veterans Memorial Park”. This 50 acre, historically significant park is situated along the “West Michigan Pike”. The park contains a lagoon and small island which can be reached by 2 footbridges. The park boasts several war memorials, a large fountain on the South end and a Vietnam Memorial to the North. It was originally built in 1928 and formally dedicated on November 11, 1934 as “Muskegon County Memorial Park”. It was to be a “Living Memorial to the World War Dead.” Read more about Veteran’s Memorial Park and it’s many monuments here: bit.ly/VeteransMemorialParkMKG
Address: M.Causeway, Muskegon, MI 49445
Tucked inside Hidden Cove Park, a 20 acre park located on Mona Lake in Norton Shores, is the Vietnam War Memorial “Final Approach”. Rising above the park, surrounded by flags, benches and plaques is a UH-1D helicopter, a combat veteran of of the Vietnam War. Tail number 958, her slogan was “God’s Little Helper”. The aircraft served from 1968-1970, assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Casper the Friendly Ghost was painted on her nose to indicate she flew with the Casper Aviation Platoon. Muskegon-based Chapter 31 of the Vietnam Veterans of America helped place the chopper in the Vietnam War memorial, dedicated in Fall of 1997. Prior to the dedication, in 1996, veteran Don Sholett of Sackets Harbor, N.Y. visited Muskegon and the newly donated Huey (then located at the Muskegon County Airport). Sholett was a crewmember who served on the helicopter, and originally painted the name and figure of Casper the Friendly Ghost on the bird’s nose. During his visit, Don repainted her name and image of the friendly ghost on the nose of the Huey. In 2009 a 24 x 32 foot pavilion was constructed at the park, again by Members of the Muskegon Area Chapter 31 of the Vietnam Veterans of America and volunteers from local unions.
Address: 3941 Grand Haven Rd, Norton Shores, MI 49441