THE MONUMENT IN CRESSKILL
In memory of those soldiers who gave their lives for their country while on duty in Camp Merritt.This Monument marked the center of the Camp and faces the highway over which more than a million American soldiers passed on their way to and from the World War, 1917 - 1919.
The 56-foot Merritt Circle Monument is located at the intersection of Knickerbocker Road and Madison Avenue on the border of Cresskill and Dumont. It was dedicated in 1924, in honor of the 563 men and women who died in the 1918 flu epidemic while stationed at Camp Merritt. The dedication was made by General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, the man who led the American forces to fame and triumph in World War I.
Madison Ave. looking toward Dumont from Cresskill ... about 1910
The monument encompasses the entire circle, including the four curved stone walls (two of which are still standing). On the North face of the monument is a bas relief depicting a noble warrior standing proudly in defense of his country and offering protection to the departing solders on their way to the war in Europe. At the base of the southern side is a plaque designed by Katharine Lamb in 1919 depicting the Palisades. The plaque indicates that Camp Merritt was used as an area for embarkation. A little-known but interesting aspect of the monument lies at the north-facing base. It is a three-dimensional stone carving of the buildings that were in Camp Merritt.
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