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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In honor of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, a historical group is working to renew and relocate New Hanover County’s only WWI monument.

Every day thousands of people drive right by it, and most don’t even know it.

“I’ve never, in 17 years here, seen anyone get out of the car and go over to take a look at it and see what it is,” historian Wilbur Jones said.

That’s why Jones and the World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition want to fix up and move the monument. It currently sits in front of New Hanover High School. They want to move it to the downtown Riverwalk. They say the green space next to the coast guard mooring site would be a perfect location.

The coalition is meeting with the city, county, school district and the Coast Guard next Wednesday to talk numbers and see if relocation is possible.

“This is an opportunity to rededicate it and draw people’s attention to it as another attraction to the waterfront area,” Wilbur said.

After next week’s meeting we’ll have a much better idea as to whether the monument will call Water St. its new home.

Comment on this Story

  • Kelly Mathis

    I think my uncles name is on it. If any of you know if Jack Best is on it please contact me. Thank you!

  • ChefnSurf

    Despite the fact that I have an undying respect and gratitude for the service provided to our country by members of the armed forces over the years, I can think of a multitude of other things that are much more deserving of public expenditure than moving a monument dedicated to WWI.

    Wilbur Jones’ statement that it will “draw people’s attention to it as another attraction to the waterfront area” is totally out of touch with reality. An “attraction to the waterfront”? A WWI monument? Really? Helloooo …. Earth to Wiiilburrr ….

    If this little group thinks it’s that important to move it, they should dig into their own pockets and augment that with putting some effort into privately raising the funds to pay for the move. This is a classic case of “putting your money (and your effort) where your mouth is”.

    Raise the money yourself (and I don’t mean by asking for public funding) and I, among others, will be more than happy to applaud you for your efforts.

  • Vog46

    Move the WWI monument to the small greenspace near the Dilligence. Also move the Kenan Fountain there as well. Move the Battleship to that side so that as people walk down River walk they go past the WWI monument and the Dilligence, then they walk next to BB-55, and (hopefully) they stop at the future home of the Maritime Museum (formerly the CF Convention Center).
    My goodness, we might need that damned hotel then………..


  • ChefnSurf

    … move the Battleship on top of the Convention Center, crush it and be done with it. At least that way it won’t continue to bleed as much money as it presently does.

    In all seriousness, I’m getting fed up with every little group with an agenda lining up with their hand out to receive public funding for their pet project. If it’s really that important, take care of it yourself.

    I did find it amusing though to hear this little group refer to itself as a “coalition”. Methinks they art somewhat full of them selfees.


  • Vog46

    I have mentioned this before:

    There is a bridge just above the BB. At ONE POINT it was proposed that the battleship be cut into 3 pieces and lifted up above the highway on an overpass where it would sit allowing drivers to drive UNDER the BB as they entered the city coming off the bridge. The cost, naturally, was huge, but the overpass was there anyway (it’s where they eventually built the new city hall).
    Your thought of squashing the Convention Center brought that memory back to me.



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