I knew the dark plaque was a World War 1 memorial even before I read it. The small town of Lee, Massachusetts sent dozens of young men (probably the whole graduating class of the high school) in 1918 to defend British and French imperialism against German imperialism. There are monuments like this in every town in New Jersey. Westfield (the posh New Jersey suburb not the run down little city in Massachusetts) has a magnificent World War 1 memorial that dominates the center of town.
What you won’t see in New Jersey is the reverse (fading white) side, a Civil War monument. While dozens of young men from Lee, Massachusetts filled the ranks of the Union Army, the same either cannot be said of most places in New Jersey or has been flushed down the memory hole. Massachusetts and Ohio were the backbone of the abolitionist movement. New Jersey (which split the vote in 1860 between Lincoln and Steven Douglas) was luke warm about the whole affair, a true swing state. If you look up a town in New Jersey and find out it was founded in 1861 or 1864, that means it was a copperhead town that didn’t want to pay taxes to support Mr. Lincoln’s Army.