Archive for Friday, May 27, 2011

Lawrence, Douglas County war memorials honor those who served in wars dating back to Bleeding Kansas

Interactive map provides locations, information on area memorials

Kerry Altenbernd, tour coordinator for Black Jack Battlefield, describes the battle, the first armed conflict between pro- and anti-slavery forces. Altenbernd says that many historians believe that the battle at Black Jack, three miles east of Baldwin City, was the beginning of the Civil War.

May 27, 2011


Lawrence honors those who have died in service

View a list of the men and women of Douglas County who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country.

Some are in plain view — such as the Memorial Campanile honoring Kansas University students who died in World War II.

Others are less prominent and much smaller.

Regardless of size or visibility, Douglas County features many memorials honoring people who served in wars dating back to the Bleeding Kansas days leading up to the Civil War.

“I think it’s really great that this community recognizes those folks who have given their lives on our behalf,” said Judy Billings, president of Destination Management Inc. in Lawrence.

Jerry Karr, a Vietnam veteran and president of the Lawrence Veterans of Foreign Wars post, says it’s not surprising Douglas County has several memorials because of the area’s history with the Battle of Black Jack east of Baldwin City, Quantrill’s Raid in Lawrence and the number of residents who served in World War II and other 20th century wars.

“When people lose loved ones, feelings run high and they want to have a memorial for those people,” said Karr, a retired Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical division chief.

Those feelings run even higher on Memorial Day weekend, as veterans, family members and the public visit memorials.

Below is a map of the well-known (and some perhaps not-so-well-known) memorials in Douglas County:

Google Map

Douglas County Memorials Map

View Douglas County War Memorials in a larger map

Zoom in and click on individual markers for a photo and brief history of each memorial.


smitty 2 years, 10 months ago

Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued the 1868 proclamation declaring the first Decoration Day. He credited his wife, Mary Logan, with the suggestion for the commemoration. But the idea had its roots in the decoration of the graves of Civil War dead by women, going back at least to 1864.

On April 25, 1866, in Columbus, Mississippi, a women's association decorated the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. In a nation trying to find a way to move on after a war that split the country, states, communities and even families, this gesture was welcomed as a way to lay the past to rest while honoring those who had fought on either side.

The first formal observance seems to have been on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, New York -- President Lyndon Johnson recognized this as the "Birthplace of Memorial Day."


Ray Parker 2 years, 10 months ago

"The government cannot gag citizens when it says it is in the interest of national security, and it cannot do it in some bureaucrat's notion of cultural homogeneity. The right to free expression ranges from the dignity of Abraham Lincoln's speeches to Charlie Sheen's rants." . . . U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, in a 3-page order ruling that Pastor Scott Rainey must be allowed to invoke the name of Christ at Houston National Cemetery on Memorial Day despite the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' attempt to stop him . . . [Indeed, it would be a federal crime, a violation of the U.S. Constitution established and protected with the blood of our nation’s defenders, for cemetery director Arleen Ocasio or any other leftist bureaucrat in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to dictate or restrict the content of anyone’s Christian prayer which follows in America’s Christian heritage. How do we let such bigoted anti-Christian thugs get into our federal offices, anyway?]


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