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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens

 In June of 1976, Lt. Lillie was invited to the dedication of the statue commemorating the contributions of the U.S. Army Nurses Corp at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens (corner of Patterson and 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI). Lillie’s memorabilia contains: her photo standing next to the newly dedicated statue, 

an artist’s drawing of the statue, and an undated letter written to General Hoerner, who was serving as chaplain to the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. The letter, from R.B. (Bob) Doran, described Joy’s military career and the European campaign. He recommended they consider 1st Lt. Joy Lillie, “You judge for yourself the similarity between Lt. Lillie and the statue. It is without a doubt sculpted from her likeness,” he wrote.

Many questions remain about how this came about; what brought about the letter in the first place? General Hoerner served the Memorial Gardens for many years, just recently retiring.  If you recall any information surrounding the memorial monuments in the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, please contact  laugc@gvsu.edu.

Source: The Nurse Who Went to War by Susan Harrison Wolffis, Muskegon Chronicle, March 31, 2002

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