In 1942, immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States determined to build a road from the continental states to Alaska. Many thousands of soldiers, contractors and engineers were mobilized to the task; 5,000 of them were treated as something less than human.
Persevering and eventually triumphing, the "colored regiments" proved their competence and ability as construction engineers, opening the gates of respect that eventually led to the desegregation of the American military, and eventually, of the entire country.
Little recognized, nearly forgotten, few of these men still walk among us. It is time to demonstrate our appreciation for their sacrifice and their dignity in bearing up under extreme conditions and treatment, and contributing to one of the key lifelines that modernized Alaska.
Individual tales of hardship, disappointment, danger and struggle enrich our understanding of the events of this dramatic, energetic time. Men like Sgt. Reginald Beverly (pictured) lived the experience and built the road battling hordes of mosquitos, melting permafrost and muskeg, and swift-flowing glacier-fed rivers. Black regiments were shivered in canvas tents while white officers and men were quartered in cabins with coal stoves.
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Alaska Highway, this life-size bronze and marble sculpture will honor these soldiers. Discounted, disrespected, and used by their own government, they nevertheless demonstrated the will and tenacity to overcome severe conditions to complete the road in record time.
Designed and executed by the sculpting team of Shala Dobson and Jim Dault, the bronze work "View from the Mountaintop" depicts three black engineers, representing the 93rd, the 95th, and the 97th Corps of Engineers regiments, standing on a peak pointing north, to Alaska. The base of the monument will be a representation of a WWII-era engineer's cap. Surrounding the monument will be benches and a site designed to invite visitors into Anchorage Centennial Park. The sculpture and memorial will be visible to travelers on the nearby Glenn Highway.
Join with us in building this memorial for the 75th anniversay of the Alaska-Canada Highway, coming in 2017.
It is time. Please help.
To make a donation with credit card or PayPal, you will need to check “designated gift” and then type in “Alaska Highway Project!” this will make sure that your donation gets into the right account. All funds go to Anchorage Parks Foundation 501c3. Contributions are tax-deductible using the Tax ID# 41-2205907.