A World War II general will be recognized with a new statue just across the street from the state capitol, state lawmakers announced Tuesday.
Major General Maurice Rose, who Gov. Jared Polis described as the highest ranked Jewish soldier in U.S. history at the time, lived in Denver with his family until he was killed in action in March 1945. Rose became the highest ranking American officer killed in Europe during the war when he was shot while attempting to surrender. He was known for leading the 3rd Armored Division from the frontlines, rather than a remote command center.
Now, 76 years after his death and the end of the war, Rose will be memorialized at the newly renamed Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park.
“It seems only fitting that we begin the quest to really get him a final resting place… in his hometown that gave comfort to his parents and his family,” Polis said at a conference announcing the statue.
The announcement makes good on a bipartisan resolution from the Colorado House of Representatives, led by Speaker Alec Garnett of Denver and Representative Patrick Neville of Douglas County. Marshall Fogel, who wrote two biographies on Rose, and Paul Shamon, a retired marketing executive, brought the idea of a statue to the legislature.
“He is the most decorated battle commander in the United States military history. He is the first to negotiate a surrender of a German army when the allied forces landed in Africa. He liberated Palermo. He earned three silver stars within a year and a half after he moved over to Africa to fight Rommel,” Fogel said.
The bronze statue will stand at 18 feet tall. George Lundeen, a prominent sculptor based in Loveland, designed it. Fogel and Shamon are raising $500,000 to donate to the state, which will be used for the statue’s production, placement and maintenance.
Rose is the namesake of the Rose Medical Center on East 9th Avenue. Casey Gruber, the hospital’s CEO, donated $10,000 to the fundraising effort at Tuesday’s ceremony.