Memorials to Pay Tribute Locally This Memorial Day

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Memorial Day, for most, is the unofficial start to summer — and although it’s shaping up to look a little different this year, it’s still an exciting season nonetheless. But there is so much more to the holiday beyond marking the beginning of a fun time of the year. The holiday itself is a designated day of the year to pay tribute to those who have served the USA and lost their lives. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed and is meant to be celebrated respectfully. In Hoboken and Jersey City, there are many memorials that pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Read on to learn more about the history of Memorial Day as well as where you can pay tribute {while social distancing} to our fallen American Soldiers in Hoboken + beyond this year.

memorial day flag

The History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day falls on the last Monday in May each year and serves as a day of honor and remembrance of all those who perished while serving in the United States Military. In the years following the Civil War, it was called Decoration Day, as it was a day for families of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers to adorn the gravesites of their loved ones with flags and memorabilia in honor of their service to our country.

As the years went on, the name gradually shifted from Decoration Day to Memorial Day as a way of honoring the lives of all fallen soldiers, not just those who died during the Civil War. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted the dates of a few federal holidays to allow them to be celebrated on a Monday in order to create more three-day weekends. The truth of the matter is that this is a day in which we, as Americans, are reminded to pay tribute to fallen American soldiers. If you commonly interchange Veteran’s Day + Memorial Day, you’re not alone. However, the two holidays differ as one pays tribute to fallen soldiers, and the other honors all Veterans who have served as an American soldier.

See More: A Hoboken Walking Tour: A {Literal} Step Into The Past

We hope that you enjoy all of your Memorial Day celebrations. It is definitely one of the most exciting parts of the year. We, also, hope that you find time to pay your respects to our fallen soldiers and their families. Below is a list of tributes and memorials you can visit {while social distancing} to honor the lives of the men and women who, so selflessly, made the ultimate sacrifice.


Vietnam War Memorial {Sinatra Drive}

vietnam memorial hoboken

The Vietnam War Memorial along Sinatra Drive serves as a tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives fighting between 1955 and 1975. The placard reads, “Not Forgotten,” so as to always remember those who passed away defending our freedom.

Hoboken Civil War Memorial {4th Street and Hudson Street}

This statue stands tall in Steven’s Park, formerly known as Hudson Square before 1955, and was erected by the citizens of Hoboken in memory of their fallen soldiers from 1861 to 1965. The Civil War Statue was dedicated by William Tecumseh Sherman in 1888 to remember the lives lost during this time. The tall statue stands in between two cannons from the USS Portsmouth, which was a Civil War vessel that was decommissioned in 1901 right here in Hoboken at the 5th Street Pier.

World War I Memorial {1st Street and Sinatra Drive}

During World War I, nearly two million troops passed through Hoboken, as it served as the official port of embarkation. The memorial serves as a way to honor those soldiers who fought during this World War. The inscription on this memorial reads, “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken by Christmas,” which became part of General John J. Pershing’s final campaign. This memorial is a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy the surroundings of Hoboken and the port that became famously known during World War I.

World War II Memorial {4th Street and Sinatra Drive}

As you walk along the water you’ll notice quite a few piers where people come to relax and enjoy the view. Pier C has a special memorial honoring 159 Hoboken World War II Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. In honor of their selfless service, the City of Hoboken dedicated a memorial to them in 2008. In addition, the city built a beautiful park right on the pier for all to enjoy.

Korean War Veterans Memorial {Paulus Hook}

This memorial honors the 133 soldiers from Hudson County who served during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. This tribute depicts a soldier carrying another soldier. It is encircled in a beautiful stone memorial complete with the names of the men and women from Hudson County who selflessly came to the aid of Korea in their time of need. The inscription on the monument reads, “The memorial is dedicated to the eternal memory of the men and women of Hudson County who fought so valiantly and selflessly for the freedom of others and to help in the efforts to bring peace to the world and the unification of Korea.”

The Hoboken September 11th Memorial {Pier A, Hoboken}

9 11 memorial hoboken

The Hoboken September 11th Memorial is a heartfelt tribute that honors the 56 Hoboken residents whose lives were lost on that fateful day. The memorial features the names and birth years engraved on glass panels, which are illuminated at night and serves as a place to reflect and remember those whose lives were lost on 9/11. The memorial stands in the path where the Twin Towers once stood just across the river. While this memorial is not directly in honor of the men and women of our United States Military, it holds a very special place in all of our hearts. We know the tremendous responsibility our first responders, as well as our military, took on following this tragic event and always look to this as a place to reflect on those lives, too.


World War I Soldier and Sailor Memorial {Weehawken}

This memorial pays tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWI. The focal point of the memorial is a stone monument honoring 21 men who served in WWI. On the left of the monument is a bronze statue of a WWI Sailor and on the left, a WWI Doughboy {a term commonly used to refer to a member of the United States Army or Marine Corps and is commonly used today to refer to members of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI}. In the middle, a bronze eagle, our nation’s symbol, perched upon an olive branch.

The National September 11th Memorial {Ground Zero}

ground zero memorial

The National September 11th Memorial is one of the most well-known local memorials + museums honoring those whose lives were forever changed on 9/11. The beautiful dedication includes an array of swamp white oak trees surrounding two square reflecting pools, which are notably the largest manmade waterfalls, where the Twin Towers once proudly stood. Not only does the memorial include every name of the fallen victims of the 1993 and 2001 attacks but it also gives us a place to reflect on those who selflessly fought for our safety and freedom in the years following.

Spanish-American War Memorial {Park Avenue, Union City}

The Spanish-American War occurred in 1898 and arose between Spain and America shortly after The USS Maine was hit in Havana, Cuba. This war ultimately ended Spanish rule in America and lead to the acquisition of several pieces of land formerly owned by Spain. The Spanish American War Memorial pays tribute to those who served during the Spanish American War and stands proudly on Park Avenue between Cooper Place and 46th Street.

Read More: A First-Responder’s Story of Hoboken on September 11th

Empty Sky Memorial {Liberty State Park}

empty sky memorial jersey city

This touching memorial is dedicated to the 746 New Jersey residents whose lives were lost on September 11th. The memorial features two twin walls with a granite path that leads in the direction of Ground Zero, just across the river. The memorial was named after Bruce Springsteen’s song, Empty Sky, which reflects on the empty sky left behind where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of all 746 New Jersey residents are etched in stainless steel along the walls. This memorial honors the souls lost on that fateful day and allows their lives and stories to live on in all those who visit the memorial.

We hope that you are able to visit some of these memorials, especially those near and dear to your hearts as we all have a connection to Memorial Day in some way. The Hoboken Historical Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about our city and the surrounding areas. Be sure to visit them at 1301 Hudson Street to learn more about the historical city in which we live.

Have you visited one of these memorials? Let us know in the comments!


Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.




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Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly six years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?