The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross broken off at its base by vandals
Update from Governor Phil Murphy: Governor Phil Murphy Asks For Help To Identify Vandals Who Damaged WWII Memorial So They Can Be Brought To Justice
April 27, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–It appears that the World War II at Veterans Park located on West State Street across from the NJ State House was desecrated by vandals overnight. It appears that vandals knocked over the “Fallen Soldier Battlefield Cross” breaking it from its weld at the base. The bronze piece weighs hundreds of pounds and was welded to the base.
The damage was discovered by a member of a local Facebook group and shared to its members. MidJersey.news has reached to Trenton Police and they have not had a report of the damage. NJ State Police responded and said it was not their area and referred to TPD. Governor’ Phil Murphy’s Office has put MidJersey.news in touch with New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and they are responding to assess the damage to the memorial.
This is still a developing story and MidJersey.news will post updates about the damage once it becomes available. No official office contacted had any information on the damage and once the agency responsible for maintaining the memorial investigates they will let us know exactly what happened. For now as stated above it appears that it was vandals but could have been another highly unlikely accident of some kind. As always when official information becomes available the story will be updated and any corrections made.
According to Wikipedia “The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross, or marker appropriate to an individual service-member’s religion, on the battlefield or at the base camp for a soldier who has been killed. It is made up of the soldier’s rifle stuck into the ground or into the soldier’s boots, with helmet on top. Dog tags are sometimes placed on the rifle, and the boots of the dead soldier can be placed next to the rifle. The purpose is to show honor and respect for the dead at the battle site. The practice started during or prior to the American Civil War, as a means of identifying the bodies on the battleground before removal. Today, it is a means of showing respect for the dead amongst the still living members of the troop. It is commonly seen in the field or base camp after a battle, especially among American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. While it is used less today as a means of identification, it still serves as a method of mourning among the living, as attending the funeral is not always possible for soldiers still in combat.“
The State of New Jersey has taken the initiative to honor and remember our “Greatest Generation” of citizens by creating a memorial in Trenton across from the State House at Veterans Park.
Fittingly, the theme for New Jersey’s World War II Memorial is “Victory.” The memorial honors and pays tribute to the courage and the many sacrifices of the World War II Generation. Over 560,000 New Jerseyans served in the armed forces and the state was an important center of industrial production, military training and related activities in support of the war effort.
The Memorial is accessible at all hours at 125 W. State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.
Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News