Cuyahoga County 

Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument

Welcome to Cuyahoga County's Civil War Monument

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument commemorates the American Civil War; it consists of a 125' column surrounded at its base by a Memorial Room and esplanade. The column, topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom, defended by the Shield of Liberty, signifies the essence of the Nation for which Cuyahoga County veterans were willing to and did give their lives. Four bronze groupings on the esplanade depict, in battle scenes, the Navy, Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry.

Inside the Memorial Room are four bronze relief sculptures:  Women's Soldiers' and Sailors' Aid Society,  Beginning of the War in Ohio, Emancipation of the Slaves and End of the War at City Point, Va., as well as busts of Gen. James Barnett and Architect/ Sculptor Levi T. Scofield, together with 6 officers, who were either killed in action,  or died of disease or their wounds.

Traditional Decoration Day

Thursday May 30, 2024 at 11:00am

Please join us this Decoration Day (Memorial Day) for a ceremony honoring traditional Decoration Day in accordance with G.A.R. General Order 11 and the laying of wreaths. 

We are honored to have keynote speaker Donald C. Bratton, Commander of the Ohio Commandery, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States and Old Stone Church Reverend Stephen C. Blonder Adams providing our invocation and benediction.

Why Decoration Day? 

As a Civil War Monument we honor the tradition started with the first National "Memorial Day" observed in 1868 under the orders of John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (the largest of the Veterans organizations following the Civil War) to honor those fallen comrades on May 30th with the strewing of flowers and decorations on their graves. This tradition was celebrated on May 30th until 1971 when the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act" was enacted to create the three day weekend we celebrate today as Memorial Day. We continue to recognize the traditional Decoration Day as those honored on our walls did when recognizing the sacrifice of their fellow soldiers. 

The Monument Mourns the Loss of Commissioner Donald Jaffe

Don served our country in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corp. He graduated with honors from the US Army-Military Intelligence School and obtained a honorable discharge with the rank of Captain.

He continued his military career with the Ohio Military Reserve (part of Ohio General's Department Initial Appointment-Staff Judge Advocate, raising in rank from Major to Colonel. He was later appointed Deputy Commander and promoted to Brigadier General.

His long lists of accomplishments included, Law Clerk, US Court of Appeals, 6th District, Trust officer at Union Commerce Bank, Assistant Law Director and Prosecutor, City of Cleveland Heights, Assistant U S Attorney & Chief, Civil Section. He was admitted to practice in all Ohio Courts and the U S Supreme Court while in private practice since 1972. He also served as part time Acting Judge of the City of Cleveland Heights and the City of Shaker Heights Municipal Courts. Donald served as an Arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau, hearing officer for the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health until recently.

Donald was also a Life member of the Ohio Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Foundation and an active trustee for the Cuyahoga County Solders & Sailors Monument since 2014.

Podcast Episode 4 - Thomas Nast's Santa Clause

Caretaker Krista Castillo sits down with Executive Director Greg Palumbo to discuss Santa Clause in the Civil War

Annually the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument hosts "Patriotic Santa" for the Winterland festivities and Saturdays in December. Caretaker Krista Castillo and Executive Director Greg Palumbo discuss the origins of Santa Clause and the contributions of Harper's Weekly cartoonist Thomas Nast to our American idea of Santa Clause which was popularized during the Civil War and on through the 1880s. 

Podcast Special Edition

Featuring a Discussion with Frm. Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas B. Modly on his book Vectors. 

In this special installment of the Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Podcast Commission President Richard Prasse has a conversation with the Honorable Thomas B. Modly, former Acting Secretary of the Navy and author of Vectors: Heroes, Villains, & Heartbreak on the Bridge of the U.S. Navy.

Find Vectors: Heroes, Villains, and Heartbreak on the Bridge of the U.S. Navy at 

Open Internship Opportunities

The Cuyahoga County Monument Commission is happy to announce two seasonal winter paid-internship opportunities.  

Summer Internships for 2024

Click Here for more information on author Lauren Pacini's book Honoring Their Memory: Levi Scofield, Cleveland's Monumental Architect and Sculptor

New Day Cleveland Downtown Road Trip

Thank you to Fox8's David Moss and New Day Cleveland for stopping by the Monument on their Downtown Road Trip. Watch the segment on YouTube where the Moss-man talks with Executive Director Greg Palumbo about our Cleveland treasure.