War memorial dedication to be held Nov. 17 in Jackson

MARTIN, Tenn. – A dedication of the restored Word War I memorial fountain in downtown Jackson will be held at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 17, on the northeast lawn of the Madison County Courthouse.

The dedication will take place after Veterans Day, which this year marks the centennial of the 1918 signing of the armistice to end the war between Germany and the Allied nations. The dedication will include the presentation and retiring of the colors by the Northside High School Junior ROTC, as well as an official certificate presentation by Susan Mennenga, co-program manager of 100 Cities/100 Memorials and a representative of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Jimmy Harris, mayor of Madison County; Vicki Foote, vice mayor of the city of Jackson; Harrell Carter, president of the Jackson-Madison County NAACP branch; and Ed Jackson, Tennessee state senator, will also be in attendance.

The historical site was granted funds for restoration by the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and United States World War I Centennial Commission in 2017 and has been designated as one of the 100 Centennial Memorial Monuments in the United States. The restoration’s goals are to remember “America’s forgotten war” and to give acknowledgement to Madison County servicemen and women regardless of gender, race or religion. Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, professor of history at the University of Tennessee at Martin, serves as the project’s director of restoration.

“The purpose of this restoration is to remember all parts of that story and to honor every one of whom we are aware and who deserve to be named or mentioned,” said Carls.

The grant has been used to restore the drinking fountain to its original appearance by repainting the structure and restoring the missing urn to the top. The restoration also includes the installation of three new plaques: one recognizing African-American citizens of Madison County who were not honored in the past, one listing the previously omitted names of the dead not mentioned on the original plaque, including African-American soldiers, and the official plaque designating the fountain as a Centennial Memorial Monument.

Members of the Jackson-McClaran chapter of the American Red Cross donated the fountain to Madison County shortly after the end of WWI.

The Madison County Courthouse is located at 100 Main St. in Jackson. For more information on the dedication, contact Carls at accarls@utm.edu.


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