On this day, in 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the first American war memorial in history. It was dedicated to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery who was killed during the failed attack on Quebec the previous year. It was also at this battle that Benedict Arnold was wounded.
Due to his exemplary leadership and bravery in battle, Montgomery was honored with the highest recognition the nation could afford him. The monument, which symbolizes Montgomery's bravery and intellect, was adorned with a plaque which reads:
This Monument is erected by the order of Congress 25th Janry 1776 to transmit to Posterity a grateful remembrance of the patriotism conduct enterprise & perserverance of Major General RICHARD MONTGOMERY Who after a series of successes amidst the most discouraging Difficulties FELL in the attack on QUEBEC 31st Decbr 1775. Aged 37 years.
Though obscured by years of progress, this monument, which still stands today at New York City's St. Paul's Chapel (directly across from where the World Trade Towers once stood), stands as a memorial to all Americans of the bravery of not only Montgomery, but of all Americans who fought and died in the American Revolution. Though virtually forgotten by the majority of the American populace, Montgomery retains a special spot in the pantheon of great American generals.