General Douglas MacArthur Statute
The General MacArthur Statue resides to the east of the Southeastern Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Veteran’s Park.
One of America’s greatest Generals, MacArthur considered Milwaukee his ancestral home. His grandfather, Arthur MacArthur, Sr., was a prominent Milwaukee attorney and later a circuit court and federal court judge. His father, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., was a decorated hero of the Civil War with the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment recruited from Milwaukee. Young Douglas studied for the West Point entrance examinations at Milwaukee’s West Division High School and received his appointment to West Point from Milwaukee Congressman Theobald Otjen in 1899.
For many years, the statue resided in MacArthur Park directly across from the Milwaukee Public Museum, which was largely inaccessible to the general public. In 2014, Veterans throughout the community expressed concern and recommended that the statue be moved to the lakefront.
In June 2014, the statue was rededicated during MacArthur Memorial Week, a 5-day event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the General’s death and the 35th Anniversary of the original dedication of the statue honoring his service in MacArthur Square. The re-dedication was facilitated by VCRT MacArthur Forum, Inc. and completed by The Boldt Company, Doral Corporation and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494, AFL-CIO, who provided over $65,000 worth of donated services and material to remove the statue and restore the MacArthur Square site, as well as moving the statue to Veterans Park, which required preparing the new and building a new pedestal and installing lighting.
MacArthur on The War Memorial Center
From the VCRT MacArthur Web site:
General Douglas MacArthur was an early advocate for the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. On April 27, 1951, during the dedication of MacArthur Square, MacArthur made the following statement of support for the project:
“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to participate in the dedication of this magnificent monument. It will be a fitting tribute to the valor and sacrifice of the American soldier, whose glory will be an imperishable reminder to all mankind of those deeds which preserved our liberties on the battlefields of the world. It stands as a solemn warning to those who would destroy our freedom either externally or internally.
America will not now, nor in the future, yield that for which so many of these men died. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died that mortal ideals might not perish.
This monument will do even more than commemorate them; it will serve to rally all Americans to the task of maintaining the moral strength which has built our past. It will constantly remind of those sacred and immutable concepts: Liberty, Justice and Truth, upon which long has rested the republic’s faith. It will be for all eyes and for all time a symbol of an even stronger nation whose history still is the future.”
To learn more about General MacArthur’s life and ties to Milwaukee, please visit VCRT’s MacArthur Web site.