Memorials and monuments still have importance in Charlotte

Monuments and memorials are a big part of representing history in America. A great number of these honor soldiers who served in various wars. Charlotte remembers the soldiers who served from our town with two monuments and two memorials. These include the World War I monument, World War II monument, Fred D. St. George memorial and the Alan Bean memorial.

The WWI monument was Charlotte’s first monument, and it is located by the Old Brick Store. At town meeting on March 2, 1920, the townspeople decided to create this monument. In the record of the meeting, there is a statement saying, “Your committee further believes the conduct of our boys is worthy of emulation, and that all may see and know how greatly we esteem the heroism of our defenders, recommends that a suitable memorial will be a Roll of Honor consisting of the names of our boys who were in the service, upon a tablet of bronze . . .”

The WWII monument is on the Town Green by the Town Hall. On this monument it reads, “Charlotte Honor Roll.” Beneath that it states that it is for WWII and has four long lists with the names of all the 98 soldiers from our town who served. There are flowers and American flags at the foot of the monument.

The Fred D. St. George memorial is at the Town Beach. It is in memory of Fred, who was a soldier in the Vietnam War. Seventy-two Charlotters served in the Vietnam War. Fred was killed in Da Nang on September 10, 1967. His name also appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.

The Alan Bean memorial is located near Spear’s Corner Store in East Charlotte. Dan Cole, the president of the Charlotte Historical Society, shared this about the Alan Bean memorial: “It was placed in memory of Alan Bean Jr. who was born March 11, 1982, and was killed at Iskandariyah, Iraq, on May 25, 2004. Even though the family had moved out of town by then, the Bean family was well liked and well remembered in town, and there was a groundswell of public support to do something in memory of Alan.”

Cole also explained how important the memorials and monuments are to our community. He said, “There is a sizeable group of people in town who feel such things need to be eliminated or condemned because they glorify war. What these monuments seek to memorialize—not glorify—is sacrifice, not war; the sacrifice, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, of the soldier; the sacrifice of his or her family.”