We live in the Victory neighborhood of Minneapolis, alongside Victory Memorial Parkway.
The Parkway was built in the 1920s, as a tribute to “Our Comrades” from Minneapolis and Hennepin County who “went west” in “The World War.” The World War was World War I, of course… they didn’t call it that until after WWII. “Went West,” is, as best we can reckon, WWI-era slang for the ultimate sacrifice.
At one end of the parkway is a monument with a flag, flown today at half mast. Torii stopped to pay his respects.
There are also the names of the known casualties listed on a rather humble but stately wall. It lacks the striking visual impact of Maya Lin’s memorial to Vietnam Veterans, but is quietly moving in its own way. In my years here, I’ve seen more than one dog walker or jogger suddenly stop and read the wall in fascination.
These names are also on markers that line the parkway. (No, nobody is actually interred here. These are just plaques.) The two closest to our house are Alfred Schulz and Jacob Roisman. We wonder if there’s a connection between Alfred Schulz and the famous cartoonist by that name born in Minneapolis who memorialized WWI in his own way… with a beagle staging endless air battles against the infamous Red Baron?
On Memorial Day, each marker is decorated with a little flag. The sight of the tidy rows of little flags stretching in either direction is quite striking, but hard to photograph. A few markers are visited and decorated by flowers; probably by their families.
There are also markers for the various units deployed from Minnesota in the Civil War. I guess the individual soldier’s names are too many and too undocumented to dedicate a marker to each, but while these hapless soldiers are too long gone and forgotten to have visitors, the nearby cherry trees do their part on “decoration day” to honor them.
Abe himself looks on in approval.