This edition is sponsored by Gumption Savannah Membership
What is the Cracked Earth Monument?
The Savannah Gas Company’s globe at DeRenne Avenue isn’t the only large representation of Savannah’s earth. The River Street waterfront is home to “A World Apart”, a World War II Monument that honors Chatham County citizens who lost their lives in the Pacific Theater and Europe. Before it was dedicated in 2010, the Cracked-Earth Monument, more commonly known as the Cracked Stone Monument, took nearly ten years to plan and finance. To symbolize the division of the globe into two parts, the huge bronze and copper globe is cut in two. Visitors can cross between the halves to read the names of 527 Chatham County veterans who were killed during the war on the inner walls. The globe also contains a Purple Heart as well as a WWII Victory Medal. Eric Meyerhoff designed the sculpture, and Ken Brandell from Key Largo in Florida built it.
During the design stages of the Cracked earth Monument, there was much controversy. It was originally intended to be erected at Oglethorpe Square. But residents protested that the monument, which measures 25-foot in width and 19-foot, was too high and would be too large and overpower the square. The city demanded that the design be reduced to 25%. However, the Veterans Council of Chatham County (who proposed the project) rejected the idea. Some suggested that bronze figures in life-size be removed from the design. The location was then moved to River Street. River Street’s history was more closely tied to World War II, with Liberty ships having been constructed in its shipyards.
Susan Chisholm created the original design that featured eight bronze figures of life-size to represent members of the Army, Navy, Army Air Corps, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, women in the armed forces, and nurses.
The Cracked Earth Monument may not have been big enough for the squares but it is well-suited for Riverfront. It attracts people who want to pay tribute to those who died in World War II.
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