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With official memorials for the State of Massachusetts and the United States to those lost in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and 9/11, Battleship Cove recognizes the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.

WWII Memorial

When the Allies tendered the terms of surrender to the Central Powers at the close of The Great War in 1919, the legendary French general Marshall Foch, recognizing the severity of the reparations, famously dismissed the peace treaty as "an armistice for 20 years." On September 1, 1939, Adolph Hitler would prove that prediction correct when Germany invaded Poland and ignited a second world war that would leave more than 50 million people dead and much of the world in ruins.

During World War II America would sacrifice more than 480,000 men and women to defeat the Axis Powers; Massachusetts citizens of all branches of military service constituted more than 13,000 of that total.

Battleship Cove is home to the Massachusetts' official memorial to all Bay Staters killed in service to their nation during World War II. Located aboard USS Massachusetts, this memorial symbolizes the eternal gratitude of a proud Commonwealth and nation.

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Korean War Memorial

As World War II came to a finish, two nations -- the United States and the Soviet Union -- emerged as the new global superpowers. Competition for international influence directly ensued, leading to a 40-year cold war that pitted capitalism against Communism, freedom versus Fascism.

In 1950, this cold war ignited on a small peninsula in the Far East as Communist North Korean troops steamrolled over the 38th Parallel in an attempt to absorb democratic South Korea. A US-led coalition of UN forces was ordered to repel the aggressors, who were quickly pushed back toward China. As the Soviets and Chinese increased their aid, the war evolved into a grueling stalemate that cost America the lives of some 40,000 servicemen and women. Nearly 1000 of them called Massachusetts home.

Battleship Cove preserves the Commonwealth's official memorial to Bay Staters of all branches of service killed in service to their country during the Korean War. Located aboard USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., this memorial ensures that those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War are not forgotten.

Vietnam War Memorial

They called it "the domino theory." In the years after World War II, Western leaders, fearful of the well-minded wishful thinking that permitted Hitler to gradually embroil the world in arms, became alarmed by Communism's rippling sphere of influence in the Far East. Believing that small countries would topple one after another if left undefended, they resolved to stop the spread of Communism wherever possible. In Korea, the UN successfully completed that mission, but in Vietnam, it failed, at a cost of more than 58,000 American lives. However, no other major country submitted to Communism after US led efforts in Vietnam as the risk of US intervention was a major deterrent.  More than 1,300 of the men and women lost during the Vietnam War were citizens of Massachusetts.   

Battleship Cove is home to the Commonwealth's official memorial to Bay Staters of all branches of service who were killed in service to their country during the Vietnam War. Located aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., this memorial is a solemn reminder of their eternal, selfless sacrifice.

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Persian Gulf War Memorial

In a fashion characteristic of the two wars that preceded it, America's involvement in the Persian Gulf War, or "Operation Desert Storm," was preceded by an invasion of a peaceful country by a Fascist regime.

When Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein stormed into Kuwait in the summer of 1990, the United Nations attempted to resolve the crisis peacefully through diplomacy, and then economic sanctions. Hussein's refusal to cooperate left the UN with no alternative, and by January 1991, US and Allied warplanes were bombing Baghdad. Weeks of air attacks were followed on February 23 by an invasion of an overwhelming ground force, with the demoralized Iraqis capitulating less than two weeks later.


In all, America sacrificed 293 lives to the liberation of Kuwait; 8 of those individuals were from Massachusetts and are remembered on the Commonwealth's official Gulf War memorial on board USS Massachusetts.

September 11th Memorial

On September 11, 2001, at 08:46 AM an attack was initiated against multiple targets in the United States. By early afternoon, both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were destroyed. The partially demolished Pentagon in northern Virginia was on fire and a hijacked aircraft was downed in a farming field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. More than 3,000 lives were annihilated. Words cannot express either the horror that we felt or the pain and anger that engulfed the United States and the entire world.

On Friday July 5, 2002, Governor Jane Swift approved a bill to establish a memorial at Battleship Cove for the 90 Massachusetts victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Unanimously approved by House and Senate lawmakers, House, No. 4974 was proposed by Representative Robert Correia of Fall River and endorsed by Speaker of the House Thomas M. Finneran and Senator Joan M. Menard.

"I originally had the idea of putting it down here because it’s an American tragedy. It was an act of aggression against our country, against all of us, and that is why I thought it was important to be here among our other memorials,” said Correia.

To see a list of residents of Massachusetts lost during the September 11 attacks, please click here.  

Plaque of September 11, 2011 Memorial that says We Will Never Forget and United We Stand as main headlines
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National Destroyer Memorial

The Admiral Arleigh Burke National Destroyer Museum  is dedicated to all destroyers and sailors still on station is currently being renovated aboard USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.  Along with the names of the destroyers in US Navy history that were lost, the forward running light from the WW2 destroyer USS Thorn (DD-647) will be a eternal lighted remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Tin Can Navy.

The museum is currently undergoing a major renovation and is working with many ship and veteran organizations to perserve and present the story of the destroyermen.  

National PT Boat Memorial

While the PT boat service constituted only a small fraction of the US Navy's operations in World War II, they inflicted major damage on enemy operations. This toll came at a heavy price, however; the Navy lost 69 boats, with 331 PT boaters killed in action.

A memorial scroll is on permanent display in the Newberry Hall exhibition building at Battleship Cove.

Black and white vintage photo of PT 796 in JFK in a parade

Explore In-Person!

Come aboard to learn more about the heroic sacrifices of those memorialized at Battleship Cove.

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