In May of 2018, construction broke on the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial located on the grounds of the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, NJ. The memorial, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, is centered around three granite walls that commemorate over 1,500 men and women who lost their lives in the call of duty.
Tom Dougherty, President of the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation said, “Nowhere in the country was there a memorial dedicated to the enlisted men and women who died in the performance of Coast Guard missions until now.”
The walls are engraved with the names of Guardsman dating as far back as 1915, the year the Revenue Cutter Service and Life Saving Service merged to form the U.S. Coast Guard. Central to the memorial is a pyramid-shaped structure holding a bronze eternal flame. Each side of this structure has the insignia of a service that preceded the Coast Guard, along with the Coast Guard emblem used today. Granite benches facing the walls are provided for reflection and a brass ship’s bell that will be used during ceremonies sits at the front of the site. In-ground lighting illuminates the entire memorial and sponsor plaques for those who provided substantial donations and support are situated along its perimeter.
Keystone + Mountain + Lakes Local 255, is one of the organizations that played an integral part in the construction of the monument. Partnering with the Joint Apprentice Committee (JAC), they laid the concrete that surrounds each wall. Additionally, all JAC students that worked on the site, also trained at the Keystone + Mountain + Lakes Hammonton, NJ training center. Working together, they were able to finish the concrete portion of the project within two weeks.
Other notable donors include:
- Walters Marine Construction of Ocean View, NJ – site work, excavation and rebar
- K2 Engineering of Haddonfield, NJ – surveying labor & material
- FM Schiavone Construction of Malaga, NJ – concrete forms & lumber
Between materials and labor, up to $150,000 was donated, contributing to the $450,000 needed for the project. The Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation became a certified non-profit in 2011. The foundation consists of Coast Guard active duty members, reservists, retirees, auxiliarists, and spouses. An official dedication is planned at the end of April 2019.