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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Once forgotten, Echo Park World War I monument has been rediscovered and restored [updated]

World War I Victory Memorial Grove monument is under wraps until it is redidicated

Under Wraps: The Victory Memorial Grove monument will be unveiled on Flag Day

ECHO PARK — L.A. is littered with overlooked and often vandalized monuments and memorials to people and events that have long faded from memory. One of these forgotten sites –the Victory Memorial Grove — commands the top of a hill with sweeping views of Downtown L.A., Dodger Stadium and the mountains beyond. On Wednesday,  this nearly century-old memorial to World War I veterans will be rededicated  after it was cleaned up and restored.

Located in Elysian Park, the centerpiece of the grove is a five-foot-high block of granite with a plaque donated to the city by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1921. Over the decades, the block of granite has been covered under layers of tagging as well as layers paint to cover up the tagging. Many of the trees that made up the grove have been cut down.

The restoration of the memorial  is part of efforts to commemorate the centennial of  the nation’s entry into World War I, also known as The Great War. Courtland Jindra,  a member of the California WWI Centennial Task Force, began searching for the  memorial grove after conducting research on WWI monuments.

Jindra then worked with the Hollywood American Legion Post 43 and the Los Angeles Eschscholtzia Chapter Daughters to raise funds and recruit volunteers for the restoration.

On Wednesday morning, June 14, Flag Day, a ceremony with a color guard and bugler will be held to rededicate the memorial. “The ceremony will borrow elements from the original dedication in 1921, with some new additions,” said Jindra on the ceremony’s Facebook page.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 am and is open to the public.

Updated: Here’s a photo of the monument after rededication on June 14.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
The Eastsider

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4 comments

  1. Thanks, Eastsider! What an amazing story. Let’s hope this restored treasure stays beautiful and safe as a tribute and reminder of all those who served and continue to serve!

  2. Glad to see this getting some attention. I go by this spot often and think about the death of my great-grandfather at Ypres during WWI, almost exactly 100 years ago. Let us not forget that WWI was known as “The War to End All Wars” for a time.

  3. I stumbled upon this monument some time ago when strolling through Elysian. I seem to recall it as listing the names of all the veterans of WWI who were from Los Angeles, and due to the comparatively tiny population at the time, only having about 100 names. Amazing what a century of changes has wrought.

    • Courtland Jindra

      Laveta- it actually has the listing of names of relatives of the state of California DAR that died in the war (the plaque has 21 names). Over 23 thousand people from LA County served in WWI and over 400 died.

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