The Edgar B. Ritchie American Legion Post sponsored Ludlow’s first war memorial. A large globe and eagle with outspread wings topped the eight-sided brick and stone memorial. The memorial was constructed on the grounds of the American legion Post on West Elm Street and was dedicated in May 1945.
In 1967, the American Legion grounds were sold to a Mr. Ashcraft. Access to the memorial was assured before the sale was completed. Ashcraft’s business, however, greatly expanded, and the environment around the memorial began to suffer from neglect.
Members of the legion and other Ludlow veterans began raising funds to move the memorial. A site in the Ludlow City Park was chosen. The fountain that had been built in the park in 1933 was filled in to form a foundation for the monument. Andy Loschiavo designed the new memorial, which was dedicated on September 8, 1968 with impressive ceremonies. Since that time, the memorial has been the central focus of Ludlow Memorial Day activities.
In 1973, a large stone tablet was added to the memorial. The tablet honored all Ludlow residents who served and died in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Mrs. Chester Kelly donated the tablet in memory of her deceased husband.
News Enterprise, June 11, 1970, p. 1 and November 8, 1973, p. 1; Souvenir Program: Dedication of the Redesigned World War II Memorial, 1968.