HE BRAVELY GAVE HIS LIFE
FOR THE CAUSE OF HIS COUNTRY
BORN DEC 28, 1896 DIED OCT 2, 1918
Private Joseph Quadri of Brooklyn was killed in World War I. His body was transported to the United States on the transport ship Princess Matoika along with 417 of his fellow fallen comrades in arms and ten fallen nurses.
The gravestone marking his grave features a mourning figure bent in despair and sorrow looking at the image of a doughboy, possibly in the likeness of Private Quadri. The willow motif on this gravestone is not unusual; in fact, the willow is one of the most common symbols found in American cemeteries. What makes this willow special is that it is carved in a three dimensional form draping the top of the stone in willow branches making for a dramatic memorial.
The secular meaning of the willow symbolism represents what one might expect; sorrow and grief, it is after all a “weeping” willow. However, in Christian symbolism, the willow represents immortality because of the tree’s ability to shed so many limbs and survive.