Albany County World War I Memorial

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Albany County World War I Memorial

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Albany County World War I Memorial

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Albany County World War I Memorial

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Information

Title

Albany County World War I Memorial

Creator

Giuseppe Moretti (1857-1935), sculptor

Date

Dedicated October 7, 1924.
Rededicated September 30, 2013

Description

The Albany County World War I Memorial in Laramie, Wyoming, was dedicated on October 7, 1924, to those who served from Albany County and from the University of Wyoming. Originally located at a downtown intersection, the memorial was moved to a corner of the courthouse grounds in the late 1920s.

The 12-foot-tall memorial surmounted by an eagle was designed by Italian-born sculptor Giuseppe Moretti (1857-1935), who is also responsible for several other WWI sculptural memorials, especially around Pittsburgh.

The original 1923 contract for the memorial describes the required design elements and shows that Moretti was paid $8,225 for the project. Five bronze panels list the names of those who served; a sixth contains the dedication and the names of 32 people who died while in service. The total number of names listed is 1,063.

The memorial was paid for entirely by Edward Ivinson (1830-1928), a naturalized American citizen who was a long-time Laramie banker, mayor, trustee of the University of Wyoming, and major community philanthropist. (Kim Viner, who contributed this information and the accompanying photos is Ivinson's biographer.) U.S. Army Major Beverly C. Daly, the husband of Ivinson’s granddaughter Frances, was the commander of the University of Wyoming ROTC unit at the time and they were given the honor of performing the military ceremonies at the dedication.

The 94-year-old Ivinson was ill and unable to attend the dedication, but his moving speech was delivered by a stand-in. It reads, in part:
"When, therefore, the opportunity to honor and perpetuate the memory of the students of the University of Wyoming, and the young men of Albany County who answered their Country’s Call and willingly risked their lives in defense of her honor and human liberty, no place seemed to me so suitable as the spot on which we now stand and I am here today for the purpose of presenting to the City of Laramie and through it the citizens of Albany County, the Memorial Monument on which is inscribed the names of those who made the great sacrifice – the Gold Star men whose memory we honor – let us pause and reverently bow our heads when their names are called.

"On it are also inscribed the names of the courageous young men [and women] who enlisted under the flag of our country and were willing to surrender their lives if need be, in her behalf. ….May we see in the Eagle whose gaze is directed towards the rising sun, which gives light and life, a symbol of that for which our Country stands and may its outstretched wings symbolize and remind us of the blessings we enjoy under the protecting care of our beloved United States – a land that is dear to the hearts of all true, Americans."

The memorial was restored in 2013 with funds provided by the local American Legion Post and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was rededicated on September 20, 2013, Edward Ivinson’s 183rd birthday.

Location

Laramie, WY

Identifier

WY000087

Contributing Institution

Kim Viner