..City Plaques and Tablets
WORLD WAR I
NOTE: I have found three Memorial plaques in Hackensack honoring those who died while in service during World War I. One is at the Library which has names listed in Alphabetical order and was donated by the Women's Patriotic league. The second one is at the Hudson Street cemetery dedicated by the veterans of Post 55 Harry B. Doremus, along with men who died during the wars that followed on a stone monument. The names are listed in Alphabetical order also. The last plaque is at City Hall on the stair way leading to the upper floors. This plaque is not in Alphabetical order.
The people of Hackensack also planted trees at Foschini Park with a plaque mounted on a cement stone which are still there today along with the trees. I had walked by those trees and plaques my whole young life playing baseball at every level at that park and never knowing those plaques were there until this August 20, 2009 when Mr. Dibb the City manager told me they were and I went and saw them. It was very moving because I new what had happened to every man but one. One of these men, Walter Brown, is not listed on any of the three Plaques in Hackensack of the men who died while in service during WWI yet the River Edge American Legion Post is named in his honor he was an aid to Captain Doremus and his name is on the tree dedication stones at Foschini Park . Also not all the names on the plaques in town are part of the tree dedication in Foschini Park . Strange how things like this shake out always leads to more questions. Are the Families that participated in the tree dedication more connected to Hackensack ? Why is Walter Brown not on any plaque? Which plaque was first? Were any of them moved from City Hall when it was built well after World War I? When did the VFW dedicate the one at the cemetery? Why is the one at City Hall out of Alphabetical order? Are any other names missing and why are they missed? Why are some names put on when there connection to the City was not one of having grown up in the area? Questions always questions?
Below is a copy of the article which was written on November 5, 1918, six days before wars end on November 11, 1918, telling of the City appropriating money for a bronze plaque to be erected at the Commission Building .
After this article I have listed in Alphabetical order the names which are on the two plaques, one at the library and the other at the Hudson Street Cemetery . I also list the names out of order like they are written on the plaque at City Hall, and last I have listed the names of the man who were paid tribute by the planting of the trees at Foschini Park.
By: Bob Meli 2009
FOR BOYS WHO
DIED IN SERVICE
November 5, 1918
Commission Will Place
BRIEF BUSINESS SESSION
The Hackensack Improvement Commission in a brief meeting last evening, acted upon two ordinances which came up for final reading, authorized the purchase of a bronze tablet for the Hackensack boys who have died in the service and considered other matters of minor detail.
The bronze tablet will become a permanent monument and will be erected in the Commission Building. The details are in the hands of commissioner Meneely, who recommended last evening that two inscriptions be placed upon the tablet, one at the top and one at the bottom, as follows; In honor of the Hackensack boys who have sacrificed their lives upon the Alter of Democracy,” and at the bottom of the tablet that part of Lincoln's Gettysburg speech which reads, “That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The commissioner was authorized to spend $115 for the tablet and $4 for each one of the names to be listed.
Commissioner Meneely appealed to the newspapers to ask the families of local boys who have died in the service to communicate with him so that no names will be omitted.
Mr. Meneely, who represented the Commission in the erection of an Honor Roll board on the court house grounds, which work is really under the auspices of the Women's Club, reported that the construction work has been completed and the contract let for the inscribing of 950 names on the board. He further said that the work would be completed in about two weeks at which time the Women's Club would probably dedicate the board with a proper ceremony.
Note: from this point on the article continues talking about other issues on the cities agenda for the day. The last paragraph here talks about the service men's plaque which was to have 950 names on it hung at the court house. They had constructed it already and were in the process of putting on the names. As of September, 2009, I have not found such a plaque. I did find an Honor Roll list in the Record Newspaper on October 5, 1918 only 26 days from wars end with approximately 827. Those are the names we have listed on our web site
By: Bob Meli 2009
THIS TABLET IS ERECTED BY THE GIRLS PATRIOTIC LEAGUE OF HACKENSACK N. J. IN APPRECIATION OF THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR AND TO THE MEMORY OF THESE MEN WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.
“WE SHALL FIGHT FOR THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE ALWAYS CARRIED NEAREST OUR HEARTS; TO SUCH A TASK WE DEDICATE OUR LIVES.”
NOTE: This is basically the way the plaque appears at the Hackensack Public Library. This is also how the names are listed, without the statements top and bottom at the Hudson Street Cemetery.
By: Bob Meli 2009