An assortment of monuments lie at the far eastern end of the main green and at the far western end of the so-called “flat-iron” triangle at the end of Britton Lane. Among these are memorial sites honoring Madison residents who gave their lives for their nation. Symbols of patriotism and sacrifice, they are often the site of commemorative services on national holidays.
Madison’s veterans’ memorials honor all Madison citizens who answered their nation’s call to arms and kept our nation free. They lie at the easternmost point of the green. Among the cluster of stones dedicated by the townspeople of Madison is a large boulder with a bronze plaque honoring veterans who fought in World War One. A second large stone, dedicated in 1985, has a bronze plaque listing those who fought in World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Conflict. A smaller boulder with a bronze plaque remembers those lost in the Revolutionary War. The Civil War monument funded by George Wilcox stands in West Cemetery.
The James Madison Memorial Garden is located at the edge of the green opposite the entrance of Memorial Town Hall. Constructed in 2001, it consists of a bronze bust of James Madison on a granite pedestal, created by sculptor Christopher Dahlberg. It was placed on the 250th anniversary of President Madison’s birth, which was also the 175th anniversary of the founding of Madison. James Madison (for whom the town is named) was the author of the first nineteen amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The first ten of those amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. The Madison Project Committee, the Madison Foundation, and the James Madison Memorial Project created this garden collaboratively. During the planning of the garden, the attack on the World Trade Center occurred, so a memorial tree and bench was added to honor those who had lost their lives. In particular, this site honors longtime Madison resident Dianne Bullis Snyder, a flight attendant who lost her life in New York City on September 11, 2001.
Placed in 2012 by the U.S. Daughters of 1812, the marker planted at the western end of the green, opposite Memorial Hall, honors War of 1812 hero Captain Frederick Lee (1776-1851). A citizen of Madison commissioned in 1809 by President James Madison, Frederick Lee served in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service until 1829. He and the crew of his bark, Eagle, provided security for the port of New Haven and protected American ships on Long Island Sound.
On October 10, 1814, while the East Coast was under a British Navy blockade, Captain Lee was called to protect an American vessel engaged in trade out of New Haven. When the British brig HMS
Dispatch intervened, the Eagle was forced to go aground on the south shore of Long Island. There, stranded on a steep bluff, Lee and his crew held off the British overnight. In the morning, the British returned to capture the crippled Eagle, without taking Lee and his men. Lee praised his officers, crew, and volunteers for having “done their duty as becomes American sailors.”