West Haven Veterans Memorial - Veterans Walk of Honor - Bradley Point Park
Backstory and Context
The West Haven Veterans Memorial - Veterans Walk of Honor at Bradley Point Park is a continuing project by the West Haven Veterans Council and West Haven city officials. From November of 2006 to present, there have been ten brick drive campaigns to memorialize local veterans. There have been 2,600 charcoal lettered bricks installed along the 100 yard Veterans Walk of Honor. The walk honors veterans from all conflicts and has specific memorials to Korean and Vietnam Veterans. The Veterans Walk of Honor has been a ten phase dedication to our veterans.
The walk begins with the Korean War Memorial which was dedicated in May 2007. The second memorial is for Congressional Medal of Honor recipient PFC William A. Soderman dedicated in May 2008. Additionally there seven granite grave markers on either side of Soderman's memorial with the insignias of the military branches and veterans organizations. The next memorial is the Vietnam War Memorial. It is the largest along the walk. It consists of three granite panels listing the 282 names of local residents and 6 who were killed in action during the conflict. In front of the of the panels is a single granite panel and three flagpoles. The panel is a map of Vietnam with the phrase “All gave some, some gave all” In May 2015, the dedication of a granite stone in memory of Lorelee Grenfell, longtime president of the Veterans Council. As you pass through the Veterans Walk of Honor the sidewalks are lined with commemorative bricks with the names of local veterans. In total there are 2600 commemorative brick placed between the Korean War and the Vietnam War memorials.
PFC William A. Soderman was a native of West Haven, CT. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valor and heroism on 17 December 1944. While serving with K Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division he defended a key road junction near Rocherath, Belgium from advancing German tanks during the Ardennes counteroffensive. Soderman disabled three German tanks and slowed the infantry advance. During his efforts, he received injuries from German machinegun fire. He survived his wounds and was additionally awarded the Purple Heart. After returning home, he married and had two children. On October 20, 1980 he died at the age of 68 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in West Haven, CT.
Bradley Point Park is not only the site of the Veterans Walk of Honor but also the location of a British invasion during the Revolutionary War. A historic marker is placed in the location where British General George Garth landed with an invasion force on July 5th, 1779 during the attack on New Haven. The park also has a 1.7 mile section of beach along the Long Island Sound. In addition to the sites at Bradley Point, visitors of West Haven, CT will find a variety of historical monuments and memorials through out the local area. West Haven hosts a Soldiers and Sailors Monument, a World War I Memorial, and a Veterans Museum.
1Bradley Point Park. CT.GOV. Accessed September 20, 2017. http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/site.asp?siteid=390. 2Veteans Walk of Honor. activerain. Accessed September 21, 2017. http://activerain.com/blogsview/1283709/west-haven-veterans-memorial---veterans-walk-of-honor---brad.... 3Bradley Point Park. City of West Haven. Accessed September 20, 2017. http://www.cityofwesthaven.com/. 4Salzo, Vincent. Veterans Walk Of Honor Dedication To Take Place In West Haven. Patch. May 22, 2017. Accessed September 21, 2017. https://patch.com/connecticut/westhaven/veterans-walk-honor-dedication-take-place-west-haven. 5Pelland, Dave. Veterans’ Walk, West Haven. CT Monuments. February 16, 2009. Accessed September 21, 2017. http://ctmonuments.net/2009/02/veterans%e2%80%99-walk-west-haven/. 6Wikipedia. William A. Soderman. Accessed September 21, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Soderman.