The dedication on Nov. 11, 1923 of the memorial for the then-recent first world war drew 5,000 people. The monument is intact nearly a century later, other than the sword loosely held by the Goddess of Pomona, which has been stolen or broken and missing for some three decades. In recent years, she’s usually been handing the young worker a bottle of water. Heh.
Below is the plaque on the base listing the war dead from Pomona. “Some gave much. Others gave all.”
Claremont artist Burt Johnson sculpted the memorial. Below is a photo of him at work on the piece. It gives a good idea of the scale. It’s hard to judge the figures’ height in person because they’re elevated on a base.
Mickey Gallivan, executive director of the Historical Society, is shorter than the 5-foot-6 sword, which has been cast by Glendora artist Richard Myer from photos.
I’m not much taller than the sword myself. It’s heavy! Obviously it’s not a real sword or my severed fingers would have fallen to the ground, one by one. The stance was about the only way to be sure I wouldn’t drop the ($3,500) sword.
In retrospect, I should have tried poking the bottle of water free.
My Wednesday column will have more about the memorial. A service will take place at 1 p.m. Monday in which the sword will be briefly mounted.