Brookfield’s oldest surviving war memorial – a World War II-era 3-inch anti-tank gun that stands in front of the Grossdale station at 8820½ Brookfield Ave. – will be rededicated at the village of Brookfield’s Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.
The anti-tank gun, which replaced the original Word War I-era cannon, was refurbished in 2016 courtesy of a $10,000 donation to the Brookfield Historical Society by American Legion Edward Feely Memorial Post 190, which disbanded that year.
The donation also funded a new concrete base and a new limestone plinth for the original 1935 plaque, which has been cleaned up and mounted on the limestone. The plinth will be in place by early November, said Kit Ketchmark, president of the historical society.
While the location of the Veterans Day ceremony in recent years has alternated between Veterans Park and the Memorial Circle, Ketchmark said in light of the celebration of Brookfield’s 125th birthday this year, it made sense to do the ceremony at the village’s oldest war memorial, which stands in front of the village’s oldest surviving building.
Nov. 11 also marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The original cannon, a 6.5 ton British field artillery piece, was placed in front of what then was the Brookfield Village Hall in 1935 in memory of those from Brookfield who died during World War I.
That cannon and others like it from World War I memorials across the Chicago area were rounded up to be melted down as scrap to manufacture steel in 1942 during the Second World War.