While the last Monday in May is typically celebrated to kick off the summer, Memorial Day is more widely known as a day to pay tribute to those who have served for the United States and, unfortunately, lost their lives. There are many ways to honor and remember the soldiers who have sacrificed so much — like attending a local parade or visiting one of the many memorials in Essex County dedicated to fallen soldiers. Read on to discover war memorials located throughout Essex County.
Belleville Dutch Reformed Church + Cemetery | 171 Main Street
A monument to George Washington sits atop a plaque commemorating the 68 soldiers who are buried in the cemetery of this church, which was a pass-through during the Battle of Second River in the Revolutionary War. Second River was the previous name of Belleville township.
Veterans Memorial Park | 482-492 Union Avenue
The monuments found here are dedicated to the soldiers of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War who hailed from Belleville. There are over 150 people, according to the Belleville Sons Honor Roll, who are remembered here.
Bloomfield Cemetery | 383 Belleville Avenue
This cemetery is home to 32 soldiers who perished during the Revolutionary War. To find a specific individual, a map can be requested from the office of the cemetery.
Joseph Bloomfield Boulder Monument | Corner of Liberty + Broad Streets
Joseph Bloomfield was a major in the Revolutionary War who then served as New Jersey’s attorney general and subsequently the governor, before becoming a general in the War of 1812. The township was named after him in 1812 when it was formed.
Lt. Col. Thomas Cadmus House | 223 Ashland Avenue
This house is named after lieutenant colonel Thomas Cadmus, who served Essex County in the Revolutionary War. According to historians, George Washington made a stop here after the Battle at Monmouth on his way to New York.
“Old Burying Ground” Cemetery | 326 Bloomfield Avenue
The final resting place of twenty soldiers, a general and a reverend, who all served bravely in the Revolutionary War, This cemetery is at the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell and is the final resting place of twenty soldiers, a general, and a reverend, all of whom served bravely in the Revolutionary War. The reverend, Stephen Grover, was the first pastor of this church after serving in the military. General William Gould, who was from Caldwell, served his country in two wars and was elected one of the first elders of the church.
9/11 Memorial, Municipal Building | 925 Pompton Avenue
Each of the columns encased at this memorial site represents a resident of Cedar Grove who tragically lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
9/11 Plaque, Glen Ridge Train Station | Ridgewood Avenue
Outside the Glen Ridge Train Station sits a planter with a commemorative plaque to remember its seven community members who did not return home.
White Oak Ridge Cemetery | Parsonage Hill Road + White Oak Ridge Road
This small, 35-person gravesite consists primarily of members of the Parsil Family and neighboring settlers. Brothers Thomas and Nicholas Parsil served in the Revolutionary War.
9/11 Memorial Plaza, Taylor Park | 100 Main Street
Take a quiet moment inside Taylor Park to sit on a bench and read the names listed on the granite panels set within a brick wall. These names are the Millburn community members who died during the attacks.
Edgemont Memorial Park | Valley Road
The obelisk that stands in the center of this park is a sculpture by Charles Keck named “Winged Victory,” dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I and World War II hailing from Montclair. There is an additional monument, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, in front to commemorate those who passed during the Korean War.
WWI Memorial, Hillside School | 54 Orange Road
This plaque honors several lives lost during World War I and was erected in 1924.
St. James’ Episcopal Church | 581 Valley Road
The bell tower that sits upon the church was installed with seven bells to honor parishioners who died during World War I. There is also a plaque on the building thanking those who returned home safely and a list of their names.
First Congregational Church | 40 South Fullerton Avenue
The nave windows, seen when first walking into the church, were designed in memory of nine congregants who lost their lives during World War 1.
Union Congregational Church | 176 Cooper Avenue
Windows designed by renowned glass artist Luis Comfort Tiffany were installed in 1920 to remember three church members it lost in World War 1, and those who served in other capacities such as relief efforts at home.
WWI Flagpole Memorial | Watchung Plaza
The plaque pays tribute to soldiers from ‘this neighborhood’ who fought in World War I.
Armed Forces Memorial, Veterans Memorial Park | West Market + Wickliffe Street
This memorial pays tribute to all seven U.S. military branches — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, and Air Force National Guard — with their flags alongside the Essex County, New Jersey, and American flags.
The Wars of America Monument, Military Park | Broad Street + Park Place
The Wars of America sculpture by Gutzon Borglum, who sculpted Mount Rushmore, depicts two horses and 42 soldiers. It was dedicated in 1929 to the soldiers, sailors, and marines of four American wars, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, The Spanish-American War, and the Great War.
Old First Presbyterian Church + Cemetery | 820 Broad Street
A plaque on the face of this church remembers 47 soldiers, including one of the church’s first reverends, Alexander MacWhorter, who perished in the Revolutionary War and are buried in the cemetery.
Vietnam Memorial, Town Hall | 1 Kennedy Drive
This memorial, documented by the Nutley Sons Honor Roll, pays tribute to individuals who lost their lives in the Vietnam War hailing from the town.
Memorial Parkway | Entrance at Chestnut Street
Instead of one monument or plaque, a memorial committee voted to commemorate not only those who lost their lives in the First World War but all in the community who served. There are 427 trees planted for each of the community members who served in addition to several memorials scattered throughout the park to remember soldiers that perished.
9/11 Memorial Plaque, Town Hall | 1 Kennedy Drive
This plaque honors those from the township that tragically lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
9/11 Monument, South Orange Performing Arts Center | One SOPAC Way
The monument standing proud outside the Performing Arts Center is dedicated to the three members of the South Orange Community who died on 9-11.
9/11 Monument, Town Hall | 600 Bloomfield Avenue
The replica Twin Tower monuments were erected in remembrance of the tragic attacks and to honor the Verona community members who lost their lives. At the foot of one of the monuments is a piece of steel recovered from the wreckage.
War Memorials, Town Hall | 600 Bloomfield Avenue
On the lawn of the town hall and directly in front of H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, there is a series of monuments and memorials to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Civil War, World Wars I + II, and the Vietnam War.
9/11 Memorial, Crane Park | 30 Clinton Road
Behind the Recreation Department Building lies a memorial to remember the residents of West Caldwell that lost their lives.
Remembrance and Rebirth, Eagle Rock Reservation | Eagle Rock Avenue
On September 11th, 2001, thousands of people gathered at this very location in the park to look upon downtown Manhattan as the tragic events unfolded as well as in the days that followed to pay their respects. This series of monuments was specifically designed and dedicated to the various groups affected such as victims of the attacks, airplane flight crews, and first responders. A piece of the foundation’s concrete and steel was salvaged from the towers and added to the memorial on the tenth anniversary in 2011.
World War II Memorial, Town Hall | 66 Main Street
The plaque set into a stone wall lists the names of West Orange residents that were killed in World War II.
9/11 Memorial Plaque, Seton Hall Prep | 120 Northfield Avenue
A memorial at the base of a tree located at one of the entrances of the school remembers the lives of alumni that perished.