World War 1 Memorial, Lithia Park
This marker is mounted on a large boulder in Lithia Park, Ashland.
One easy access is by parking on the loop road just above the upper duck pond, just before Winburn Way intersects Granite street. From the parking area, walk toward the duck pond. Heading toward the right side of the duck pond, take the unpaved path, which is just to the right of the paved sidewalk. Walk down this path (which parallels Ashland Creek) until you find the large boulder on the left side of the path. The boulder is roughly half way between the duck pond and the tennis courts. The plaque is on the opposite side of the boulder.
When we were young, the boulder had a drinking fountain with fresh water. The carved out area for the fountain is there, but without water.
This plaque honors the men from Ashland and vicinity who died during World War 1.
One noted name is Walter Anderson Phillips, who died in France on October 1, 1918 at the age of 24. According to information on the Find A Grave website, in 1940, the Ashland High School Football field was named after him. A sign at the entrance to the football field presents photos and information about his life.
The Lithia Park plaque ends with the quote “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”. According to Wikipedia, this translates as “it is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland”. The line is from a poem by the Roman poet Horace (65 BC – 8 BC ). In 1920, Wilfred Owen published a poem using the line, calling it “the old lie”, in the telling of the horrors of gas attacks against soldiers in World War 1. Before the publication of Owen’s poem the line was used, as here, on memorials for the fallen. After, it was used to oppose war propaganda.