The Jacob Cousins Memorial on Portland's Eastern Promenade. Credit: CBS 13

PORTLAND, Maine — Citizens re-dedicated a memorial Friday for the first Jewish soldier from Portland killed in the line of duty in World War I.

One hundred years ago, Corp. Jacob Cousins died leading his platoon into battle on the German border. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star posthumously for his heroism.

Friday, a group honored Corporal Cousins, along with seven other Jewish soldiers from Portland who died in World War II.

The original memorial was dedicated back in 1935 and placed in a somewhat hidden location, but the memorial was recently renovated and moved to a more prominent part of the city on the Eastern Promenade overlooking Casco Bay,

“From the start, the renovation of the Jacob Cousins Memorial has been a heartfelt project involving so many supporters,” said Brandon Mazer, President of Friends of the Eastern Promenade Board of Directors, in a statement released by the city of Portland. “On Veterans’ Day weekend, it’s the right time to be remembering Jacob Cousins and all Maine veterans. The new Memorial site, overlooking Casco Bay, is a reflective and calming space on the Eastern Promenade.”

The city of Portland provided $21,000 in capital improvement funds for the memorial project, while the Friends of the Eastern Promenade raised more than $20,000 from individuals, local businesses and foundations.

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