Our Veterans Memorial Wall is unusual in that it honors all six branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The 65 foot-long monument lists the names of soldiers from World War I through the War on Terror, with a connection to Jacksonville, most often through attending high school here. A torch with an eternal flame stands in front of the monument. The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall can be found at 1145 East Adams Street, adjacent to EverBank Field. It’s also recorded as the second largest wall in the country, only behind the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“It shows just how interwoven Jacksonville is with the military community, and vice versa,” says Bill Spann, Director of the City of Jacksonville’s Military Affairs & Veterans Department.
The “Father of the Wall,” a vet named Ray Moore, began compiling all the names he could find of local Jaxsons who had given the last full measure of devotion. The internet certainly would have made the task easier, but Ray ended up hand-researching all of it, because it was the 1990s. Through 1995 the wall is broken up by high school, thanks to Ray, but it’s been added to in various ways over the years, so if you are looking for a vet who gave their life in combat after 1995, you might find them elsewhere on the wall rather than by high school.
If you know someone in Jacksonville who gave their life in service during a time of war, contact City of Jacksonville’s Military Affairs & Veterans Department at 904-630-7087 so that they might be added to the wall. Criteria are a solid connection to Jacksonville (through going to highschool here, or having a residence here), and active duty at time of death.