Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial
|Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial|
|30th Street Station
For the 1,307 PRR employees who died in World War II.
|Unveiled||August 10, 1952|
|Designed by||Walker Hancock, sculptor.|
The Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial is a monument in the main concourse of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It commemorates the 1,307 Pennsylvania Railroad employees who died in World War II.
The 39-foot (11.9 m), 10-1/2-ton (9525 kg) memorial consists of a tall, black-granite base on which the 1,307 names are inscribed in alphabetical order on four bronze plaques, one attached to each side of the base; and a heroic bronze sculpture, Angel of the Resurrection, that portrays Michael the Archangel raising up a fallen soldier out of the Flames of War. It was designed by Walker Hancock (1901-1998), the Instructor of Sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and an U. S. Army veteran of World War II. Hancock had been one of the "Monuments Men" who recovered art looted by the Nazis.
The monument is unusual in its intense verticality, which relates to the columns it stands in front of. Hancock was given the choice of location, and his inspiration was the concourse's east colonnade. It is his most famous work, and was his personal favorite.
The memorial was dedicated on August 10, 1952. Army General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at the ceremony. The monument was unveiled by Army Sergeant Robert E. Laws, a sheet-metal worker at the PRR's Altoona Works and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in combat in the Philippines.
The two inscriptions read:
- IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR OUR COUNTRY 1941-1945.
- THAT ALL TRAVELERS HERE MAY REMEMBER THOSE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD WHO DID NOT RETURN FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
Main Concourse, 30th Street Station, looking east.
- Hancock, Walker. "The Pennsylvania Railroad Memorial", American Artist 16 (October 1952), pp. 28-31.
- James-Gadzinski, Susan & Cunningham, Mary Mullen. "Walker Hancock, b. 1901", American Sculpture in the Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA, 1997), pp. 279-85.
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