Autumn of 2018: Re-dedication of Panels Honoring The Memory of Those Who Served in World War 1

The original memorial panels for those in Delaware County
original were located on this arch that spanned Baltimore
Pike near Media.

In the 1920s, Delaware County officials spoke of the memorial erected over Baltimore Pike in Springfield to honor local veterans as a tribute that would last forever.

Made of reinforced concrete to resemble Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, it stood on over a bridge on Baltimore Pike spanning Crum Creek. The structure was dedicated before an estimated 5,000 spectators by William I. Schaffer, a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who anticipated that its longevity would equal that of the Pyramids, the Acropolis and the monuments of Rome. The two bronze tablets displayed the names of 280 men and women killed in the Great War.

Then, in 1958, engineers needed to widen the bridge, and the arch was chiseled to rubble, and the tablets were remounted on concrete slabs a few hundred feet west of the original site. In 1988, the panels and the slabs they were mounted on were found to be in the path of the Blue Route construction, so the panels were placed in storage. World War 1 vets favored the Courthouse lawn; officials responded with the entrance to Smedley Park, not far from their original location.

In 1993 a plaque was presented by the Delaware County Veterans Council on the monument that
today stands to the left of the entrance to the Park. In addition to the names of honorees, there are two panels that provide some history of the Memorial:

“The people of Delaware County proud of her historic past and of her record of loyal service to the
commonwealth and the republic, mindful of the blessings of liberty and grateful to mall who have contributed to its attainment and its defense, have erected this memorial to their fellow citizens who answered the nation's call to arms in the World War. While no monument however nobly conceived or elaborately wrought, could enhance the honor and glory of those who gave their lives that American ideals might survive, their names have been reverently placed here that the living may gain patriotic inspiration from their hallowed memory.”

On the adjacent panel is inscribed:

The Memorial Bridge

“Dedicated to the men and women of Delaware County who served in the World War, and bearing the names of those who sacrificed their lives in the great conflict, was undertaken by the County Commissioners with the cooperation of the State Highway Department under Governor William Cameron Sproul and Highway Commissioners Lewis Strerrett Sadler and George H. Biles, with the interest offend approval of President
Judge Isaac Johnson and Judge William Booth Broomall. The work was carried on by county commissioners James M. Hamilton, Thomas F. Feeley, Robert J. Burley and Harry M. Birney, Jr. and completed in 1924. Orion Davis and George T. Wadas were County Controllers during the construction. The bridge was designed by R. J. Aydlotte, County Engineer, and Clarence W. Brazer was architect of the memorial. Seeds and Derham were the contractors.”

View of original bridge as viewed from the north side.
View of the original bridge from the south sde

Please refer to this site for updates on the ceremony planned at Smedley Park honoring ALL who served.