In 1929 the Miantonomi Memorial Park Tower was built as a World War I memorial. The Tower housed two bronze plaques, honoring 56 American servicemen from Newport who lost their lives during the war . In 1978, the plaques were stolen off the Tower. As the result of a public appeal in 2016, historical park documents were donated by the family of the former park Commission Chair, James Edwards. These documents included the list of servicemen names on the original plaques and photographs.
Based on this documentation, the City of Newport, the Miantonomi Park Commission and the American Legion have launched an effort to replace the plaques. The group has now established that it is possible to create accurate renderings for the two 26” x 52” replacement plaques. They have identified a manufacturer that can do the job and received an estimate for the cost, which is $8,000.
“I am very happy that the City of Newport and the Miantonomi Memorial Park Commission are involved with this project to replace the memorial plaques on the Miantonomi Memorial Park Tower – the largest war memorial in the State of Rhode Island” states John Duchesneau Commander of American Legion Newport Post 7. “I feel it is of the utmost importance that we, as a community, honor the service and sacrifices service members from Newport who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms of not only Americans but the citizens of the countries we were allied with as well.”
Anyone interested in donating funds to restore the dedication plaques can send checks, made out to the City of Newport, to the Finance Dept., City Hall, 43 Broadway, Newport RI 02840. Please write on the check or include a note that the donation is for the “Miantonomi Plaques”. Questions may directed to, Scott Wheeler, Buildings & Grounds Supervisor, at 845-5802 firstname.lastname@example.org