World War II Memorial Monument Dedicated May 1948

World War II Memorial Monument Dedicated May 1948

Monument Stands To Remember Those Fighting  Men and Women From Rhea County

With World War II raging overseas, back at home the Dayton Junior Chamber of Commerce (DJCOC) was busy putting together a project that would memorialize or honor the fighting men and women from Rhea County who had been doing a wonderful job protecting our cherished American way of life.

It all began in July 1944 when the DJCOC announced that a beautiful and permanent memorial to those who were so gallantly serving would be erected on the lawn of the Rhea County Courthouse.

The monument would be in total approx. 14 x 6 ft in size and made of beautiful, polished marble. The two side plaques would be used to memorialize those who had not made it back home. It was estimated that the memorial would cost approx. $2500. The community was asked to pitch in and help with various planned fundraisers. The main fundraiser was asking for the family and friends of each person in uniform to raise and donate a minimum of $2 per soldier. That way, the funds would be quickly raised. In order for each serviceman and woman to feel they had a personal participation in the monument, with each completed $2 donation, a 9×12 print of the memorial, suitable for framing, with an inscription and a blank space for the inclusion of the person being honored, was to be provided.

In the end, all the fundraising and construction had taken approx. 33 months to complete. The monument was officially dedicated during the week of May 6, 1948. The headlines read “We Are Gathered—Lest We Forget.”

The Rhea County Memorial was erected In Honor of the Gallant Men and Women of Rhea County who participated in the struggle to keep America mighty and free. Highlighting the ceremony was the unveiling of the bronze plaques bearing the names of those who lost their lives in WWII.

General Fredrick McCabe, U.S. Army retired, and Col. William H.E. Holmes, Tennessee National Guard, both of Chattanooga took part in the program and unveiled the plaques.

Dr. James Fowle, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, was the principal speaker.

The ceremony was concluded with complete military honors with a firing squad and the playing of taps.

Today, the memorial also contains the names of those men and women who lost their lives in World War I, Korean and Vietnam Wars.

World War II

Copyright All Rights Reserved -Yesterday In Dayton


Please Consider using The Social Media Buttons Below To Share This Story So Others May See It.


Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

error: Content is protected !!