Here memory lingers to recall the guiding mind whose daring plan outflanked the foe and turned dismay to hope when Washington, with swift resolve, marched through the night to fight at dawn and venture all in one victorious battle for our freedom.SAECVLA PRAETEREVNT RAPIMVR NOS VLTRO MORANTES
ADSIS TV PATRIAE SAECVLA QVI DIRIGIS
(translation: The ages pass away. We too, yet lingering, are hurried on. Oh Thou who guidest the ages, guard our land!)
A nearby sign (see picture below) gives a brief history of the Princeton Monument and identifies recent efforts to permanently illuminate it. It reads:The Princeton Battle MonumentThis Monument, which commemorates the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton, depicts Liberty inspiring General Washington as he leads his troops into battle, and the death of General Hugh Mercer. The seals of the United States and the original thirteen states appear on the sides of the Monument, and the inscription on the back was composed by Andrew Fleming West. Commissioned in 1908, the Monument was designed by the Beaux Arts sculptor Frederick MacMonnies with the assistance of architect Thomas Hastings. President Warren G. Harding was present for the 1922 dedication.
In 2006 the Princeton Parks Alliance, in carrying out the vision of Princeton Borough Major Joseph O'Neill, undertook a project to permanently illuminate the Monument. As with the original construction of the Monument, local citizens responded with generous donations. The Monument lighting was funded with gifts from Princeton University, Sara and Alexander Buck, Randy and Herb Hobler, Betty Johnson, Douglas F. Bushnell, Marie and Edward Matthews, Barbara and Art Morgan, The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation, Betsy and Tod Peyton, Joan and Bill Schreyer, Charles C. Townsend Jr., Andrew Kootz and Laurie Harmon, Wendy and Peter Benchley, Sherry MacLean, and many more. Additional funding from the State of New Jersey was made possible through the efforts of Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.