MacArthur and The War Memorial Center

War Memorial CenterGeneral Douglas MacArthur was an early advocate for the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. On April 27, 1951, during the dedication of MacArthur Square, MacArthur made the following statement of support for the project:

“I am profoundly grateful for the opportu­nity to participate in the dedication of this magnificent monument. It will be a fitting tribute to the valor and sacrifice of the American soldier, whose glory will be an imperishable reminder to all mankind of those deeds which preserved our liberties on the battlefields of the world. It stands as a solemn warning to those who would destroy our freedom either externally or internally.

America will not now, nor in the future, yield that for which so many of these men died. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died that mortal ideals might not perish.

This monument will do even more than commemorate them; it will serve to rally all Americans to the task of maintaining the moral strength which has built our past. It will constantly remind of those sacred and immutable concepts: Liberty, Justice and Truth, upon which long has rested the republic’s faith. It will be for all eyes and for all time a symbol of an even stronger nation whose history still is the future.”

At the time of his speech the only existing part of the project was a bronze dedication plaque created for the courtyard of the building. Five years later, in 1956, when the WMC was completed on the lake front, the following words of the general were etched over his signature into the marble base of the Honor Roll Pool in the courtyard of the Memorial:

“In tribute to those who did their duty
as God gave them the light to do that duty”

War Memorial Inscription