As the nation observed Memorial Day in honor of our veterans, Jeep’s Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio unveiled its own tribute to veterans around the country.
The plant manager and the local UAW chairman, along with employees, veterans, and Chrysler Group’s VP of Assembly Operations, came together to dedicate a permanent memorial to our nation’s military veterans.
The memorial, placed near the plant’s giant “Jeep” sign, consists of silhouettes of soldiers standing near a fully-restored 1942 Willys Military Jeep. Employees of the Complex fully restored the 1942 Willys Jeep, replacing parts, refurbishing body panels, and applying new paint. The team assigned to the restoration included descendents of workers who may have built this Jeep when it was first on the assembly line.
In addition to its tribute to veterans, this memorial recognizes the Toledo Assembly Complex’s nearly 75-year history of assembling Jeeps, starting with the first military Jeeps during WWII. This memorial also reminds the new generation of Jeep employees where the company came from – and that the Jeep brand owes its existence to WWII veterans. Willys-Overland built Jeeps for the military during WWII, where they were used as troop and supply carriers, recon vehicles, and ambulances. After the war, Willys-Overland sold the CJ – which stood for “Civilian Jeep” – a Jeep which was more refined but still maintained the military Jeep’s incredible off-road capability. If veterans returning from the war had not become the first Jeep enthusiasts when they got home, the brand might not be here today.
Source: Long Island’s East Hills Jeep