Memphis' Veterans Plaza contains memorials to the veterans of Memphis and Shelby County who were killed defending the freedom of the United States. It is located in Overton Park just to the south of the Memphis Zoo. The 2-acre area is home to a collection of memorials: World War I (established 1926 and 1932), World War II (2001), Korean War (2003), Vietnam War (2003), and Desert Storm (2003). A plaque providing the history of Veterans Plaza states that "... through these memorials we pay honor to 1,525 Shelby County veterans who were killed in the 20th and 21st century wars." An adjoining plaque provides commendation for Pete Dugan, a WWII veteran,"... honoring his steadfast commitment to the cause of Veterans Plaza in Overton Park."
The Doughboy statue, which is the hallmark of the area, is one of the World War I memorials; it was made in 1926 of copper from pennies that were collected by local school children. A statue of Margaret Polk, the namesake of the Memphis Belle, honors the B-17 bomber and its crew; the memorial was unveiled in October 2011 and was sponsored by The Memphis Belle Memorial Association.
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