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Centennial of World War One
Photo: Ernest Brooks
From 2013 to 2019, the World War One Centennial Commission will commemorate the centennial of the Great War, also known as "the War to end all wars."
The Historical Society of Plainfield will participate in the commemoration of World War One by helping the World War One Centennial Commission identify the monuments located within the City limits that are dedicated to World War One and its veterans.
The City of Plainfield has a number of World War One monuments including: Plainfield Veterans' Memorial Monument, World War plaque at the steps of City Hall, World War One Honor Roll tablet located inside City Hall, flagpole monument on Watchung Avenue, flagpole monument at St. Mary's Church, memorial tablet located inside Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and Plainfield High School memorial tablet. It is interesting to note that the War Memorial Flagpole monument at Watchung Avenue is listed in the Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum. The artist was Gaetano Cecere (1894-1985).
The Historical Society is requesting the assistance of the Public to identify any other World War One monuments or memorial tablets that may be located at churches, parks, or other places. Pictures will be taken and descriptions will be written, and then submitted to the World War One Centennial Commission. If you know of any other World War One monuments or tablets, please supply your information to the Drake House Museum firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 755-5831.
The Historical Society is planning a future exhibit about World War One and the impact of the War on the City. Plainfield lost a number of young men, and the Historical Society has a notebook which contains information about 45 of these casualties of war. Former Mayor Leighton Calkins lost his only son. Many of these men died from the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, and the City of Plainfield also suffered great losses from the Influenza Pandemic. One of Plainfield's World War One surviving veterans was Evarts Tracy, the pioneering camouflage officer of the World War One. Tracy was also a member of the architectural firm that designed the 1903 buildings of Muhlenberg Hospital.