Milwaukee’s Public Works Committee has approved a resolution to relocate a statue of famed General Douglas MacArthur from its current hideaway home in MacArthur Square to a more prominent location in Veterans Park.
The Public Works Committee unanimously approved the resolution during a meeting on Wednesday in accordance with a proposal sponsored by Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr.
In collaboration with a group of area veterans known as the Veterans Community Relations Team, Weishan has proposed the statue be moved to a lakefront spot just north of the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center where the public can have easier access to it.
“I think it is just more high profile,” Weishan said about the proposed location. “Currently right now with the statue being located in what we call MacArthur Square, there’s very few actual citizens and members of the public that actually get to view the statue. This is a more high profile area (that) will be a better venue for showcasing the impact of what MacArthur has done.”
MacArthur served as chief of staff of the United States Army in the 1930s and was a pivotal military figure in the Pacific during World War II.
The general briefly lived in Milwaukee before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point and, at the time, was recommended by a local congressman to be accepted into the academy. MacArthur’s Milwaukee ties span generations as both his father, Arthur, Jr., and grandfather, Arthur, Sr., were residents of Milwaukee.
“He has a long family history here in the Milwaukee area,” Weishan said.
The statue commemorating MacArthur was erected in MacArthur Square, located along N. James Lovell St. in Milwaukee, in 1979.
Following Weishan’s resolution, the statue would be rededicated during a special “MacArthur Memorial Week” this June, when dignitaries from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Korea among other countries will flock to Milwaukee to celebrate his international military legacy.
The cost of the relocation would be covered by a collection of donations from individuals and corporations in Milwaukee, according to Weishan.
The resolution will be submitted for review by the Milwaukee County Parks, Energy and Environment Committee in March.