Sunday, January 24, 2021

Monument of States, Kissimmee, FL

The Monument of States was conceived as a symbol of American unity after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and is located in #kissimmee #florida #fl. It was built by volunteers, with donations of stone that came from around the world, including a rock from Hyde Park from #fdr At the time of Pearl Harbor Charles Bressler-Pettis was a retired doctor living in #beautifulfla He conceived of the idea to bolster morale and to be a tourist draw in the area. The monument would ultimately be built with over 1500 donations from all around the world. Interstingly some of those donations included stones from places like France, Italy and Switzerland which at the time would have been potentially aligned with the Axis, occupied by the Axis or, in Switzerland’s case, surrounded by the Axis. I have asked the local historical society in Osceola County if they have any insight on the origins of those stones during that particular time frame. (at Monument of States)

Walt Disney Studios had to get involved after the fact with a stone donation made much later and placed on the path beside the monument. Does tend to indicate when Disney at least began looking at Central Florida as a location for Disney World.

FDR himself donated this stone from Hyde Park, NY

One stone was dedicated from the United Spanish War Veterans. Note how it was yet to be referred to as the Spanish-American War and also note the spelling of PORTORICO without any spaces.

I focused on the contributions from NJ given that I am originally from NJ.

France, Switzerland and Italy all had stones. Interesting given the time frame. From Pearl Harbor until 1943 France would have been under German occupation and the southern part of France would have been Vichy and then German-occupied Vichy. Switzerland would have been surrounded by the Axis. Italy also had a stone and of course there was at least some window of opportunity where a stone could have been contributed from Allied-occupied areas of Italy from 1943 on.

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