Hannibal dedicates new Veterans Memorial

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The bell from the USS Hannibal, the warship which was built in 1898 and saw action in three wars beginning with the Spanish American War. Jim Dewey

HANNIBAL, Mo. – Hannibal’s new Veterans Memorial on Cardiff Hill was dedicated during a ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The centerpiece of the memorial is the ship’s bell from the USS Hannibal, the warship which was built in 1898 and saw action in three wars beginning with the Spanish American War. It was decommissioned in 1944 and saw its final action as a bombing target in Chesapeake Bay after being sunk in 1945.

Before it was sunk, the bell was removed and sent to the city of Hannibal, although the ship was actually named for the Carthaginian General who led his army across the Alps to fight the Romans in 218 BC. 

The bell was originally placed in Kiwanis Park on the riverfront where it remained mostly unnoticed for several decades. The idea for the memorial was developed after the bell was “rediscovered” during construction of the new riverfront.

The memorial was built with money raised by the sale of memorial bricks which are being laid out in front of the arched structure. So far, 390 bricks have been purchased and 339 have been placed at the site. There is plenty of room for more bricks. INformation on purchasing a brick and making a $125.00 donation is available at the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department website https://www.hannibalparks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Memorial-Brick-Order-Form.pd.

 Future plans for the site include the installation of a kiosk containing information about the history of the bell.

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