You are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor Corporal Jacob Cousins who was first the first soldier of the Jewish faith from Portland to be killed in World War 1. The re-dedication of the memorial and surrounding new plaza will be on Friday, November 9th at 10:30 am. on the Eastern Promenade on Munjoy Hill.
Over 2,000 people attended the first memorial dedication on September 22, 1935. The granite boulder and plaque were sponsored by the Jacob Cousins Post No. 99 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States.
The Jacobs Cousins Memorial honors one man who died in the line of duty, but also serves as a reminder of the patriotism and sacrifices that Jewish Americans have made for their country. A second plaque remembers Portland Jewish soldiers killed in World War 11.
Cousins grew up in Portland. He was 24 years old when he enlisted in the Army. His Company c. 328th infantry fought in the 47-day battle in the Neuse-Argonne region of France, the largest US military offensive ever, involving 1.2 million American soldiers.
On October 14, 1918, less than month before World War 1 ended, Cousins was killed leading his platoon in battle on the German border. Cousins received the Purple Heart and Silver Medal for his bravery posthumously. He is buried at the Neuse-Argonne American cemetery, the largest military cemetery in Europe with over 14,000 graves. Cousins is succeeded by family, living in Massachusetts.
The work was funded by the city of Portland in the amount of $21,000. and the Friends of the Eastern Promenade raised over $20,000. for the upgraded plaza.
Patsy Wiggins is Executive Director and Brandon Mazer is President of the Board of the Friends of the Eastern Promenade.