Stan & Janet Schwarze.
PEACE MEMORIAL A TRIBUTE TO HOSPITALITY
Wisconsin, typical of the entire United States in the splendid balance of its
agriculture, its industry, and its scenic beauty, has entertained many a guest
of distinction, but seldom has any guest left behind him so eloquent an
expression of appreciation for the state and its people as the noted sculptor,
Ernest Durig, left with the people of Greenwood this year.
In a tiny park fronting the main street of the little Clark County city today,
stands a figure chiseled from white stone by a student of the outstanding
sculptor, Rodin. It is the figure of a woman – a woman whose right hand supports
a stricken soldier and whose left holds high a flag.
The statue represents many things to those who find meaning in the symbolic. It
represents the motherhood of America, staunch and true to country through the
greatest sacrifice motherhood knows. It depicts the gory misery of war,
eloquently preaches the gospel of peace. It is reasonable to suppose that it
will stand in Greenwood’s cit park for centuries, and that future generations
will treasure it even more highly than the people of Greenwood do today, for it
represents a work of art that money alone could not buy.
In the years to come it will represent Greenwood, and it will hold a place in
the memories of those who leave Greenwood to take up their appointed tasks in
the far corners of the earth. It will be an everlasting monument, not only to
the cause of peace, which it eulogizes, but to the spirit of hospitality which
is representative of Wisconsin and the Midwest, and especially of the little
city which treated a great artist so kindly and so hospitably that he carved a
treasure from enduring stone and left it there to express his gratitude for that
friendly spirit. (Marshfield News Herald)
PEACE MEMORIAL DEDICATION
With an impressive and elaborate program the unveiling and dedication of the
Peace Memorial, sculpted by Professor Ernest Durig, the last pupil of Rosin, was
held on Sunday, October 3rd in an impressive ceremony. The memorial was
dedicated to the Gold Star mothers of the nation and the citizens of Greenwood.
Our little city was packed with visitors. The main street was barred to
automobiles but they filled the side streets. The crowd was estimated at 7,000
and they thronged around the green park beside the city hall where the
dedication took place and where the beautiful white statue now stands.
Traffic officers from surrounding counties assisted the Clark County Highway
police in directing traffic and special police were placed on duty by
Greenwood’s chief of police. No accidents were reported.
The gala celebration began with a parade starting at the old city hall, coming
down Main St., past the monument at 2:00 p.m. Leading the parade was the local
American Legion unit. Followed by the Greenwood and Withee bands, a procession
of cars bearing gold and silver star mothers, Al Darton of Loyal, the
community’s lone G.A.R. member, Spanish-American war members and their wives,
the American Legion Auxiliary, Stanley, Neillsville and Abbotsford service
companies, and the Neillsville V.F.W. Post.
John Wuethrich, a member of the dedication committee, proclaiming the still
unveiled statue as “the most beautiful ever erected in the United States,”
introduced the chairman of the program, Dr. R.L. Barnes. A band selection
followed, after which A.L. Devos, Greenwood’s City Attorney, made a few brief
Miss Rosemarie Durig, daughter of the sculptor, presented a harp solo, after
which Elmer Johnson led the crowd in singing “America” and “America the
Beautiful,” and Myron Duncan of Owen, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Herbert
Schwarze, sang “Ah Sweet Mystery of Life,” “Still Wie Die Nacht,” and “When
Irish Eyes are Smiling.”
As the veil was lifted a pure white dove flew out and lit on the large American
flag which was hanging behind the statue, and the sun which had not been shining
all day, came through the clouds for a few moments, lighting up the beautiful
statue. “Taps” by Kelly Etta of Loyal, followed.
Professor Durig, who gave us the enduring monument of peace, was called upon by
Dr. Barnes, and declared he was deeply touched by Senator Duffy’s speech saying,
“He has understood marvelously how an artist works.”
“I can only say,” Mme. Durig told the great audience, “that I have in my heart a
great prayer – ‘Peace on earth.’, Woman has a high mission in working for peace.
You are so fortunate here in America – spread your wings – for peace.”
Rep. Merlin Hull of Black River Falls, asserted that “Probably nothing has
happened in Clark County since the World War to bring so many together in honor
of such a cause. We shall carry away with us the lesson of this great day. It is
fortunate, indeed, that Greenwood has been favored, with this great monument,
but it must be remembered that it was the hospitality of Greenwood which caused
a great artist to pay the city this tribute.”
Among the many others who were called upon and made brief remarks from the
speaker’s platform were Col Fred Cruse of the U.S. Army, representing the
adjutant general’s office; State Senator W.J. Rush, Neillsville, who also
brought a message from Gov. Philip F. La Follette; Assemblyman Victor Nehs;
County Board Chairman Elmer Anderson; Atty. Hugh Gwin, president of the Loyal
Businessmen’s Association; Fred Stelloh, mayor of Neillsville; T.F. MacDonald,
postmaster of Marshfield; W.F. Krause and Joseph Tobola of Thorp; Wm. Creed,
Geo. Rude, County Red Cross chairman, and Mayor Ed Buker of Greenwood, who
thanked Professor Durig “for this wonderful beautiful statue.”
Allan Wuethrich, accompanied by Rosemarie Durig on her harp, sang two solos, “In
the Time of Roses: and “Nearer My God To Thee” and Lloyd Smith, a Legionnaire of
Colby, sang “My Buddy.”
250 AT BANQUET
Approximately 250 persons attended the banquet in honor of the Durig family at
the High School gymnasium in the evening, served by St. Ann’s Society of St.
Mary’s Catholic Church. After a harp solo by Miss Rosemarie Durig, Senator
Duffy, praising the celebration as one of the finest ever held in any small
Wisconsin city, took his departure. He was accompanied by his son Ryan Jr.
Rep. Merlin Hull, declaring that nothing had been left undone by the community
and the committee to make the day “one always to be remembered,” said that the
new monument would afford inspiration to many future generations as well as to
“I hope”, he added, “that when the artist can find no more worlds to conquer, he
will return again to Greenwood for the years to come and will perpetuate, in
stone or bronze or some other medium, some of those who made Clark County what
Sen. Walter Rush and Assemblyman V.W. Nehs, Elmer Anderson, A.L. Devos, Dr. Hugh
Schofield, Dr. F.A. Boeckman, J.H. Fradette, were also called upon for remarks
by John Wuethrich, acting as toastmaster.
Col. Fred T. Cruse, banquet speaker, announcing that the occasion was his “first
appearance in the role of the unknown soldier” likened the monument to the
famous ‘Christ of the Andes’ in South America and declared that the vast area
between the two monuments represents an area of peace. He pointed to American
accomplishments such as the construction of the Panama Canal, the establishment
of airways, and the linking of Central American highways as eloquent
demonstrations of the application of “practical peace,” and likened America’s
efficient army as a police force powerful in the interest of peace.
Professor Durig briefly described his arrival in this city for a short vacation
from his work at Washington, and told how Mme. Durig had prevailed upon him to
create the memorial, which represents a Gold Star mother, holding with one arm a
fallen soldier, and with the other hand holding high the American flag. It is
carved of a manufactured sonte made of white cement and white sand and so far as
known is the only monument in the United States made of this material. The
sculptor had worked with this type of material in Italy. The material for the
monument was supplied by the Greenwood Commercial Club.
Dr. R.L. Barnes, Commercial Club chairman, announced provision for another
vacation trip to Greenwood for the Durigs, and Mrs. George Heilman, presented
the sculptor with a history of the city on behalf of the public library board.
Several solos were sung by Myron Duncan Owen; Timothy Trinko, Chicago, appeared
in a number of imitations and dinner music was furnished by an Eau Claire
One of the most wonderful views ever seen was the statue viewed across the
street in the evening. The street lights shining on the pure white statue, while
on the north side was an entirely green linden tree, back of the statue a
beautiful red and gold maple tree, and to the south a maple with almost all the
leaves gone. As one party expressed, it described life, youth, middle age and
old age. The white statue warning of all the horrors of war.
SENATOR F. RYAN
ADDRESS AT PEACE MEMORIAL DEDICATION
One of the most intense of all human desires is the yearning for peace. The
great majority of the people of the world desire to live at peace with their
neighbors. From the dawn of the Christian Era, the idea of “Peace upon Earth and
good will unto men,” has been an impulse which has been planted deep in the
minds and the hearts of civilized human beings. And yet, what is the condition
of the world today?
In sunny Spain the sun is darkened by the smoke and dust and acrid fumes that
arise from the field of battle. Beautiful churches and other public buildings,
that have long been gems of architecture, now are shattered and crumbled and in
ruin. Beautiful cities with their wide streets and the lovely parks and fine
school buildings, have been pulverized by the tremendous force of exploding
shells, or bombs dropped from the skies.
People of the same nationality are bitterly attempting to kill one another,
fighting with a fury of maniacs and both sides are receiving aid from other
nations. It is a dangerous situation for the peace of the world, because at any
moment some incident may occur which will plunge Europe into the fiery pit of
another war. There is no peace in Spain.
Over in the Orient the same sad picture presents itself, Japan and China locked
in almost a death struggle. The armies of the Imperial Government of Japan, well
trained and well organized, are fighting a war of brutal aggression, not only
against the armies of China, but against the helpless women and children and
civilian population of cities of no military importance. Naturally the sympathy
of the entire civilized world goes out to China. There is no peace in the
And so, we have this anomalous situation; the people of the world want peace,
and yet at this very moment, in widely separated parts of the world, two
destructive wars are being carried on with unabated fury.
Today we have assemble here in this delightful community of Greenwood to
dedicate a peace monument – the work of one of the most eminent sculptors in the
world today, Professor Ernest Durig. Greenwood is indeed to be congratulated on
the happy circumstances that brought Professor Durig and his talented family to
this community for a visit. In future years thousands upon thousands of people
will be attracted to this spot to gaze upon the noble work of art.
With the magic of his hand, Professor Durig has caused to spring from a block of
cement and sand, a most heroic and symbolic figure. Certainly, as long as this
monument stands, people who come here to gaze and admire will be inspired to
thoughts and impulses of peace.
How beautifully has this famous sculptor depicted, first the sacrifice of human
life that the God of War always demands; and, then the noble sacrifice of the
Mother whose son has fallen in the service of his country.
Those of us who have participated in war well know that the men who receive the
wounds, who are struck down by shrapnel, high explosives, machine gun fire,
bombs, or gas, must bear great physical suffering and many will make the supreme
sacrifice. But, the Mother who went down into the shadow of death to bring that
boy into the world, and who has tenderly cared for him during his helpless years
of infancy; who has thoughtfully guided him through his formative years, nursing
and caressing him when he received the bumps or little wounds common to healthy,
vigorous boys. Oh, the sacrifice that the Mother makes with her anguish of mind
and her breaking heart even exceeds the physical torture of the soldier boy.
Here we see depicted a brave, courageous Mother with her head held high, bearing
up under almost uncontrollable grief, still willing to go on for love of
country. The flag which she so courageously keeps upright, in spite of the
crushing burden of her fallen son, symbolizes the courage with which women have
always been willing to sacrifice for their country.
I have recently returned from an official trip to France, Belgium, and England,
where I represented this Government as a member of the American Battle Monuments
Commission. The Vice-President selected 3 Senators from among those who had
served in the army of this county. Three members of the House of Representatives
were likewise chosen. General Pershing is the chairman of the Commission.
It is rather a consoling thought that after this great war leader had finished
his task in the World War and the time came for him to retire, that he did not
accept the many attractive commercial offers that were made to him, but has
devoted all the rest of his life, up to this day, as the guiding head of the
Commission authorized by Congress to erect suitable chapels and monuments, and
to care for the cemeteries where some 32,000 American men and women lie buried
today in foreign soil.
The President of the United States and the President of France participated in
the first dedication. It fell to my lot to make the Dedicatory address of the
chapel in Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium. In these various dedications I
want to assure you that there was no glorification of war in simple, dignified
ceremonies. The paramount thought was that these men and women had died as
American citizens in the service of their country.
We in the Congress of the United States have recognized the great yearning of
American people for enduring peace. We have established a foreign policy that
shows it is our earnest desire to live at peace with all nations and to be a
good neighbor. We nurse no spirit of revenge. We do not dream of empire, and we
do not covet territory that belongs to another. We have the will for peace. But
yet, as a very practical matter we know that if the whole world catches fire
that we must bend every effort to keep from being drawn in ourselves.
In the last session of Congress we passed a Neutrality Bill. It has received
considerable criticism, yet, this bill went through the Senate by a three to one
vote, which indicated substantial agreement as to its provisions. Under the
provisions of this bill, after the proclamation by the President, American ships
cannot be armed while engaged in trade with belligerents; American citizens are
prohibited from traveling on the vessel of belligerents; such nations cannot
float new security issues or loans in this count; American ships can not carry
contraband of war, which contemplates what we usually know as munitions and
materials of war. Likewise, funds, clothing, or medical supplies cannot be
collected in this country, except under the approval by the President, and such
collection would be entrusted, if permitted at all, to such an organization as
the American Red Cross.
We have the cash-and-carry theory involved which mean that before any goods
leave our country to go to a belligerent, it must have been paid for, so that
the title has passed, and that they must come and get it.
Of course, the old conception of freedom of the seas no longer exists. The
nation with a strong navy tell other nations what they can and cannot do upon
the high seas. Witness the blockade of the Chinese Coast by the Japanese Navy.
Neutrality is a simple matter as a matter of theory, but as a matter of practice
what appears to be a very neutral program is one set of circumstances may be
most unneutral in another. Take the situation of furnishing oil and gasoline to
Italy while she was conducting her campaign in Ethiopia.
There was much sentiment for us to cut off all export of petroleum products to
Italy, but Italy answered, “Why this is the most unneutral thing that you can
do. We have for years purchased a certain amount of these products from your. We
have mechanized our armies; we had a right to rely upon at least a normal
supply. If you cut out this supply, you will be unneutral and will be taking
sides with Ethiopia.”
Despite these difficulties, I believe that we have laid the ground work in such
a manner that we will be able to keep out of even a great World War, should one
occur in the future. We shall pass some law that will take the profit motive out
of war. We all know that during the last World War that some 22,000 individuals
stepped from financial oblivion into the millionaire class and many thousands
more into the luxury class.
There should be no incentive for making profit out of war in which this country
is engaged. There must be some sort of universal draft so that, if war should
come again, the burden would be equalized by bringing into the service of the
Nation, capital, industry, and manpower with special privilege and profit from
none. There should also be the means of providing instantaneous mobilization of
industry on an orderly, efficient and economical basis for wartime service.
This must be planned for in advance, because when the drums beat and the
soldiers begin to march, a hysteria spreads, and men and women will not respond
in a normal, logical way. They will not have th sober, steady judgment that
would protect them ordinarily in times of peace.
On behalf of the people of Wisconsin, I wish to thank Professor Durig for making
this great contribution to our State. I want to congratulate the people of
Greenwood and vicinity, your Commercial Club, and others who became interested
in this project; in having the foresight and energy and the ability to render
the necessary cooperation which has brought this great monument to your
community. I do hereby dedicate this magnificent memorial to a cause of peace,
and may every passerby that gazes upon it be inspired anew to work whole
heartedly for the cause of peace and to avoid the inevitable, tragic cost that
comes with war. And, may the sacrifice of this courageous Mother call to mind
again and again that this Nation has grown great because of sacrifices made
during all the years of its growth and progress.
And you, soldier Boy, you died for your country, but certainly you did not die
to glorify war – you died with the thought that not only were you in the service
of your country, but by your heroic devotion you might serve to common cause of
of humanity. If you could speak to us from your grave today, it would be your
agonized cry, “Cannot some means other than war be found to settle international
disputes?” We must dedicate ourselves to that ideal.
We must keep sufficiently prepared so that no arrogant, brutal, militarist
nation will trod upon us. At the same time we must keep our house in order and
inspire the other nations with whom we come in contact that we desire only
enduring peace. Oh Soldier Boy,
“Fear not that ye have died for naught,
We’ll teach the lesson you wrought
In Flanders Field.”
DEDICATION 3 Oct. 1937
Clark Co., WI
L>R: Rosemarie Durig (daughter), Mrs. Durig & Professor Durig (Sculptor)
Facing Greenwood's Main Street is a statue created in 1937 by Ernst Durig, Swiss
sculptor for whom many world figures posed, makes a silent plea for peace,
depicting a war mother supporting her fallen son as she holds an American Flag.
It was Christened prior to America's involvement in WWII. Approximately 7,500
individuals attended the most impressive dedication. The statue was a gift given
by the internationally esteemed artist with the city of Greenwood paying only
the expense of the materials used. His sister, Mrs. Louis Arbs, resided in the
SOURCES: Greenwood City Library
Historical Clippings, Lorraine (Schwarze) Ernst Album, Greenwood Gleaner