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Rededication of World War I Veterans Memorial

  • Date: 11/11/2018 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Root Common Park

Rededication of World War I Veterans Memorial

November 11, 2018

Gathering at 11:15

Rededication Service at 11:30

On November 11, 2018, the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, this peaceful Root Common Park was rededicated to the men and women from Wauwatosa serving in the war. The trees are a tribute to the four soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty: Bernard A. Diedrich, Alexander E. Shiells, Harry S. Robbins and William Nehring.

At this site, on Memorial Day, 1928, the City of Wauwatosa dedicated three elm trees and bronze plaques to three Wauwatosa men who died serving our country during World War I. Over time, the trees died and the plaques were lost. Reconstruction of Root Common Park in 2018 revealed parts of the original memorial and a fourth fallen World War I soldier was identified.

They served in the U.S. Army’s 32nd Division, along with 15,000 other members of the Wisconsin National Guard. The 32nd fought in four major campaigns; defeated 23 German divisions; captured over 2,000 prisoners; suffered over 14,000 casualties; never yielded ground to the enemy; and were given the name “Les Terribles” by the French for their audacity in battle.

Shortly after the war, the Division adopted the shoulder insignia of a battle line shot through with a red arrow, symbolizing its tenacity in piercing every German defensive line faced. The 32nd became known as the Red Arrow Division and continues to operate today as the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin National Guard.

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