One of several Twin Cities Churches to erect a monument to World War I, the Hennepin Ave Methodist Episcopal Church did so on November 6, 1921 through the efforts of its parishioners.
Located in the Church foyer, one cannot help but notice this bronze, tablet-shaped monument commemorating the 180 parishioners who served overseas. In addition to the names of men who served in the United States Army, members of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) are listed, along with the Church’s Gold Star parishioners at the top as a way of distinguishing them for making the ultimate sacrifice for their country during the Great War.
Along the sides of the monument, there includes a design of branches with grapes. Above the parishioners’ names, a bald eagle carrying a shield with the American flag design in its talons soars above the inscription, “In grateful recognition of the services rendered by the men of the Hennepin Ave Methodist Episcopal Church in the World War, 1914-1918. Greater love hath no man than this.”
The quote used in the monument is one that is widely used in military monuments and memorials. Its significance revolves around the close-knit bond shared between soldiers in war as they go off to fight for an ideal or goal greater than themselves. The fact that it was included on this monument more than reflects this, given the strong anti-German sentiment that pervaded Minnesota during World War I.
With the monument located in the main entrance to the Church, it is hard to miss between its eye-level location and large size. As one enters the Church and takes note of the dozens of names listed on the monument, they begin Mass with those veterans in mind, inspired to pray for all American soldiers past and present serving their country just as the families and friends of parishioners serving in World War I did a century ago.