For almost 150 years, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument has take up residence at Capus Martius and in 1917, the men who served in World War I were honored at the monument.
The black and white photo shows the mass of people watching soldiers march south on Woodward Ave at Campus Martius. Some onlookers had even climbed the monument to get a better look at the heroes returning from war. You can also see Hudson's and Kern's dpartment stores plus the Detroit Opera House in the upper left background.
On the photo is a note that reads "World War I, 1917-1918; Campus Martius, Detroit, Mich."
The monument was paid for by donations at a cost of $75,000. It was unveiled in 1872 and has had a few minor additions including the bronze statues added in the 1880s. At the apex of the monument the allegorical statue of Victorious Michigan stands. Depicted as an Indian Queen in a winged helmet, she watches over the figures below. Male figures - representations of Artillery, Cavalry, Navy and Infantry, reside upon the first tier. Above their heads, the second tier houses allegorical statues of History, Emancipation, Union, and Victory. Four eagles, each sit upon their own columns, ready for flight.
This powerful monument served as a visual reinforcement of the higher ideals for which so many persons dedicated their service and their lives. Today, placed less than 200 feet from its original location, the Soldiers and Sailors monument continues to serve as a reminder that Detroit, and Michigan as a whole, has a rich history comprised of many stories of those persons dedicated to the greater good.
FOX 2 thanks the Detroit Historical Society for this and all of our Throwback Thursday posts.