The Onondaga County War Memorial is dedicated to men and women of Onondaga County who served in the armed services. Designed by Edgarton and Edgarton, the cornerstone was laid in 1950 by the Gold Star Mothers of Onondaga County. When it was completed the following year, it was considered one of the finest multi-purpose buildings in the country and an engineering feat. The main hall, which is 250 feet long, 138 feet wide, and 60 feet high is spanned by a roof of poured concrete that does not require interior supports. The names of 50,000 veterans are on the walls of the promenade, and the names of 55 battles are boldly inscribed on the exterior.
In keeping with the main theme of remembering Onondaga County’s veterans, a commemorative veterans’ exhibit, contiguous to Memorial Hall on the west side of the building, opened in 1993.
Revolutionary War exhibit
War of 1812 soldier, Leonard Kellogg
Civil War soldier, Benjamin Porter
The first floor exhibit honors veterans who fought in the American Revolution through the Vietnam War. Replete with images, text, and original war-time artifacts, the exhibit explains each of the wars and highlights local residents who served their country.
Civil War veterans exhibit
World War I nurse, Esther Haswell
World War II soldier, Bernard Stapleton
The exhibit is complemented with eight life-size figures representing actual Onondaga County citizens who served in those respective wars. At both ends of Memorial Hall are two very large murals symbolizing the struggles during World Wars 1 & 2. Painted by distinguished Syracuse artist, G. Lee Trimm in 1951, the two murals reflect America’s unwavering struggle to live in freedom. The second floor contains a wall-mounted exhibit dedicated to the Persian Gulf War, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.