First Responders & 9/11 Memorial

 Statues are located on the Boardwalk at St. James Place. 

On December 5, 2014, the City of Atlantic City dedicated a new monument in honor of firefighters, police officers, and K9 officers, along with a complimentary monument created especially in the memory of those lost while responding to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The monuments were part of a $145,000 CRDA revitalization project of Boardwalk space at the end of St. James Place, which had previously been damaged by a fire.

The dedication ceremony began with a mass at the St. Nicholas of Tolentine church, followed by a procession of policemen and firefighters from Atlantic City and Jersey City. The ceremony concluded with the playing of Taps and the unveiling of the monuments.

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 Police Officers and Firefighters gather for the dedication ceremony of the Memorial on the Boardwalk at St. James Place. (ACFPL staff photo)

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The First Responders monument features three bronze statues - a policeman, a firefighter, and a K9 dog. The police officer statue is modeled after Melvin Vincent Santiago, a police officer from Jersey City who was killed in the line of duty in July 2014. The statues were designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon, who had previously designed the statue of Miss America in front of Boardwalk Hall and the Leavander Johnson statue in City Center Park.

Hanlon Sculpture Studio also designed the adjacent 9/11 Memorial, which features two seven-foot tall granite towers, representing the World Trade Center, into which are chiseled a fireman’s helmet and a police shield. At a later date, existing plaques which honor Atlantic City natives who died on September 11th will be moved to accompany the St. James memorial.

The memorial was a joint effort by the City of Atlantic City, the CRDA, and Cathy Burke, owner of the Irish Pub on St. James Place. Burke was the project’s catalyst, wanting to give back in some way to the police officers and firefighters who patronize her business.

"First Responders" by Brian Hanlon, Hanlon Sculpture Studio.

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9/11 Memorial by Brian Hanlon, Hanlon Sculpture Studio.

Atlantic City Expressway Connector


Marker is located at the Northwest corner of Mississippi and Fairmount Avenues

Marker text:
South Jersey Transportation Authority
Atlantic City Expressway Connector
Donald T. DiFrancesco, Acting Governor
Stanley R. Glassey, Chairman
Charles J. DePalma - Vice Chairman
Carl W. Block
James M. Dwyer
Charles E. Owens
Louis Toscano
James Washington
James Weinstein, NJDOT
Charles Hance, NJC
James A. Crawford, Executive Director
Kathleen C. Aufschneider, Chief Engineer
July 27, 2001

Additional information:

Although casinos existed in Atlantic City’s Marina district as far back as 1980, no direct highway route to this area was created until two decades later. Until then, tourists would either have to get off of the Expressway and drive through the entire downtown section of the city, or take Absecon Boulevard, a less-familiar route for those travelers from out of the area. In the mid-90s, the proposal of a new casino to complement the existing two in the district generated talks of building a more direct route to the Marina. A tunnel connecting the Atlantic City Expressway with the Marina district and Brigantine was proposed, but the plan didn’t commence without opposition. Many local residents feared that the tunnel’s construction would destroy their neighborhoods, while casino owners argued that the tunnel would simply serve as a “private driveway” to direct patrons to their competitors’ resorts. When the main casino project supporting the tunnel construction was abandoned, however, the route was changed to provide more general access to the casinos in the marina, area roads, and Brigantine. After five years of planning and two and a half years of construction, the 2.3-mile long Atlantic City Expressway Connector Tunnel opened in July 2001. Within a year the route, which reduced travel time from the Expressway to Brigantine to only four minutes, was carrying 20,000 vehicles a day during peak season.



Venice Park World War II Memorial


Marker is located on the corner of Grammercy Avenue and Absecon Boulevard (Route 30)

Marker text:
Venice Park Honor Roll
World War II

[list of names follows]

Additional information:
The Venice Park World War II Memorial is one of several in Atlantic City that honors residents of the resort who served and gave their lives in the second World War. Other memorials are located in O'Donnell Park and on the outside of Boardwalk Hall. Venice Park's monument, however, is specific to residents of that sector of the city. The memorial was dedicated on December 9th, 1945. It was placed along the side of the White Horse Pike, a major thoroughfare into Atlantic City, so that, according to then-Mayor Joseph Altman, "everyone can see what ... the youth of Venice Park did" in the war. Four names at the top of the monument - Edward Dayton, Wilbur Horn, Edward Mawhinney and Kenneth R. Stopper - are marked with small stars. Unlike the 104 others on the monument, these four Venice Park residents did not return home from World War II, but instead made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In 1994, the plaque fronting the memorial was stolen, but the thief apparently had a change of heart. The plaque was returned to Venice Park World War II Veteran Bud Lovett about a month later, wrapped in cloth and with an accompanying American flag. It was swiftly returned to its proper location.

For more information, see articles from:
The Atlantic City Press, September 28, 1994 and October 5, 1994


The Whaling Bark "Stafford"


Marker is located at Pacific and S Rhode Island Avenues near the Absecon Lighthouse

Marker text:

Before construction of Absecon Lighthouse, many ships and many lives were lost off the coast of Absecon Island. Even though the beam from this light lessened these losses, other disasters plagued seagoing vessels.

The anchor you see here, weighing 1,805 pounds, may be one of two that were recovered by fishing boat crews working near Cape May. It may originally have sailed aboard the United States Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones, which was hit by German torpedoes in February 1942 and sank in the waters off Cape May. The anchor was permanently installed here as a reminder of the important role Absecon Lighthouse played in reducing losses at sea.


Camp Boardwalk


There are two plaques in Atlantic City which commemorate the 50th Anniversary of "Camp Boardwalk." One is located on the front of Boardwalk Hall, and the other on the dining level of Resorts Casino by Gallagher's Burger Bar.

Boardwalk Hall plaque text:
In commemoration of Atlantic City's finest hour ...

Dedicated to the thousands of men and women of the United States Armed Forces who trained, served and recovered here from their wounds of battle during World War II—and to the devoted citizens of Atlantic City and Atlantic County who served and helped to make them feel at home.


The marker located in Resorts Casino

Resorts plaque text:
This plaque commemorates Merv Griffin's Resorts as site of Thomas England General Hospital, the largest hospital in the United States during World War II.

From June of 1942 through November of 1945, more than 300,000 men and women worked, trained and recuperated in Atlantic City also known as "Camp Boardwalk." During that time, more than 4,500 war casualties were treated at England General.

With this plaque, we salute those brave men and women and their contribution to the United States of America.


Additional information:
When the United States entered World War II in late 1941, no time was wasted in readying troops and facilities for combat. In 1942, Atlantic City became occupied by the military, with 47 different hotels and hostels being repurposed for the war effort. Atlantic City, now nicknamed "Camp Boardwalk," was an ideal location for military training and soldier rehabilitation. Since its once-high visitation rates were in decline, many of the resort's hotels were nearly empty already, meaning displacement was minimal. Atlantic City's coastal location ensured that valuable training exercises could be performed on the sand, something troops needed for later beachfront battles in France and Japan. The Boardwalk provided a perfectly even path for injured soldiers going through physical therapy, especially those who were now amputees learning to use prosthetic limbs. Many amputee veterans later expressed that without the help and environment given to them at Camp Boardwalk, re-entering society would have been almost impossible. From 1942-1946, Atlantic City housed over 300,000 soldiers. Boardwalk landmarks were renamed, as the massive Convention Hall became the Army Air Corps Technical Training Command Center, and the Haddon Hall hotel (later Resorts Casino) became the Thomas England General Hospital. Originally encompassing 5 different beachfront hotels before being reduced to just the Haddon Hall, England General was the largest hospital in the world at the time. The environment in the city was different too - beaches were closed at noon so that soldiers could do calisthenics on them, lights had to be turned off at night or windows covered with blue cellophane, and no girl under 18 was allowed on the Boardwalk unescorted after 9 pm. Despite the changes, however, Atlantic City's residents embraced the military presence. Many families invited soldiers into their homes for Sunday dinners, and training exercises on the Boardwalk drew large crowds. The Saturday Evening Post quoted Private Herb Dotten as saying that the spectators "give... an added snap and makes you feel the importance of a job you otherwise might think as a lot of drudgery." The military presence, in turn, helped Atlantic City return to its former glory. Celebrities once again turned out in droves to visit the soldiers; famous names visiting the resort included Bob Hope, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott and Costello, and Joe DiMaggio. Many military families also came to vacation in Atlantic City in order to see their boys off before going to war. Winners of Atlantic City's famous Miss America Pageant participated in War Bond tours nationwide during these years. In 1992, the 50th Anniversary of Camp Boardwalk was marked by a reunion of soldiers at Resorts, many of whom met again for the first time since the war's end.

For more information, see articles from:
The Sun, November 5, 1986 and February 14, 1986
South Jersey Advisor, April 10, 1992
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28, 1986