Monuments and Higher Ideals

After recovering from the shock of viewing such a crowded Campus Martius, occupied by gentlemen wearing jackets and hats no less, many of you may recognize the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Paid for through donations, this $75,000 monument was formally unveiled in 1872, although the addition of some of the bronze statues didn’t occur until the following decade. Erected as a monument to those who served in the Civil War, on the day this photo was taken in 1918, the monument witnessed a parade to honor veterans of World War I.

At the apex of the monument the allegorical statue of Victorious Michigan stands. Depicted as an Indian Queen in a winged helmet, she watches over the figures below. Male figures -representations of Artillery, Cavalry, Navy and Infantry, reside upon the first tier. Above their heads, the second tier houses allegorical statues of History, Emancipation, Union, and Victory.  Four eagles, each sit upon their own columns, ready for flight.  This powerful monument served as a visual reinforcement of the higher ideals for which so many persons dedicated their service and their lives. Today, placed less than 200 feet from its original location, the Soldiers and Sailors monument continues to serve as a reminder that Detroit and Michigan as a whole, has a rich history comprised of many stories of those persons dedicated to the greater good.

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