Memorial Day offers an opportunity to visit monuments dedicated to the sacrifices of not only our fallen soldiers, but our gallant war dogs as well.


National War Dog Cemetery

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

The National War Dog Cemetery on the American territory of Guam memorializes the  war dogs (mostly Doberman Pinschers) who died over the course of the battle to liberate Guam from Japanese occupation in World War II. Of the 60 war dogs who served with the United States Marine Corps during the Second Battle of Guam, 25 died and 20 others were wounded. Located at Naval Base Guam, the memorial was dedicated on July 21, 1994 – the 50th anniversary of the battle. (war dogs monument image via sourdoe207               


Not Forgotten Fountain

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

The Not Forgotten Fountain is one component of the expansive Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The fully-functioning fountain, often enjoyed by visiting dogs, features a bronze statue of a Vietnam War dog handler pouring water from his canteen into a helmet to share with his partner. The inscription engraved on the sculpture's granite pedestal reads “In everlasting memory of all the war dogs who served, died, and were left behind in the Vietnam War.” (war dogs monument image via Joint Base San Antonio)  


Michigan War Dog Memorial

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

The Michigan War Dog Memorial was “rediscovered” in 2010 after being overgrown and forgotten for decades. The monument was originally dedicated in 1946 at the then-10-year-old Happy Hunting Grounds Pet Cemetery in Oakland County, MI, but by the 1980s internments had ceased and maintenance declined. Thanks to local volunteers organized by MWDM, the memorial has been extensively restored and rededicated. (war dogs monument image via MWDM           


Vietnam War Dog Memorial

Vietnam War Dog Memorial at the South Carolina Memorial Park in Columbia

One of the nation's newest war dog memorials, the Vietnam War Dog Memorial at the South Carolina Memorial Park in Columbia was dedicated on November 11th of 2015. The bronze statue of an army dog handler with his faithful German shepherd companion was created at a cost of $130,000. Perhaps reflecting the larger than life roles played by war dogs and their handlers, the kneeling soldier is 7 feet tall and weighs 1,400 pounds while the statue of the dog is four feet tall and weighs 300 pounds. (war dogs monument image via SJAFB/U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Shawna L. Keyes           


War Dog Handlers Memorial

War Dog Handlers Memorial, Camp Pendleton

In August of 2014 a 6-foot-tall, 5,000 lb black granite monument commemorating the service of military K-9 units of all services dating back to WWI was unveiled at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. Conceived, funded and contracted by the Dawgs Project, the memorial pays tribute to 312 dog handlers killed in action in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. (war dogs monument image via Visit Oceanside)      


Pennsylvania War Dog Memorial

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

The Pennsylvania War Dog Memorial is located in front of the Bristol Township Municipal Building on Bath Road in Bristol township, PA. The monument, featuring bronze sculptures of a Vietnam War-era dog handler and his K-9, was created by artist Joe Pavone and was dedicated on September 16th of 2006. (war dogs monument image via Bristol Township    


Alabama War Dogs Memorial

Alabama War Dogs Memorial, Mobile

The Alabama War Dogs Memorial was dedicated on November 11th, 2008, at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL. The memorial, which cost $58,000 and took six months to design, consists of a four-ton granite slab supporting statues depicting a war dog, his handler, and other soldiers. A list of the war dogs associated with handlers from Alabama has been engraved into the back of the marble slab. (war dogs monument image via Chris Friese)       


Alexandra Headland National War Dog Memorial

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

The Alexandra Headland National War Dog Memorial is located on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, and is not only the nation's first war dog memorial, it's been designated as is THE National War Dog Memorial. The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia's Sunshine Coast branch erected this monument to the 11 tracker dogs who served with the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. The monument was dedicated in April of 2001 and features a small water fountain for the use of local dogs. (war dogs monument image via Queensland War Memorial Register)  


United States War Dog Memorial

United States War Dog Memorial, New Jersey

The United States War Dog Memorial took its place on the grounds of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial on June 10th 2006. Sculptor Bruce Lindsay created the life-size bronze statue on a black granite base that features an Army dog-handler kneeling besides his attentive K-9. The popular memorial cost an estimated $100,000 and took nearly seven years from conception to installation. (war dogs monument image via Ted Kerwin)  


Smoky Yorkie Doodle Dandy and Dogs of All Wars Memorial

Awesome Paw-some War Dogs Monuments

Smoky, a female Yorkshire Terrier, may be the most unlikely war dog of all... and, one of the most accomplished. Smoky was found in 1944, huddling in an abandoned foxhole during a fierce World War II battle on the island of New Guinea. American Corporal Bill Wynne took custody of Smoky, training her to perform tasks such as running telephone wire through narrow tunnels. Later, she comforted injured soldiers and so became the first recognized Therapy Dog. Smoky's statue and memorial can be found in the Rocky Reservation of The Cleveland Metroparks. (war dogs monument image via Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital)     

It's estimated the approximately 4,000 war dogs who went into action during the Vietnam War alone helped save the lives of roughly 10,000 American soldiers and their allies. Yet these heroic K-9 canines were officially classified as “equipment” and were termed expendable! This is just one of many reasons why war dogs are held in such high esteem by the soldiers who worked alongside them. We hope you share their respect and will visit your local war dogs memorial on Memorial Day – or any day.