HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - A popular local landmark and touching tribute to American soldiers who fought in World War I has been knocked down and broken.

The Doughboy Statue was accidentally struck by a tractor trailer making a turn, according to a post on the Highland Park Police Department's Facebook page.

Police posted photos of the statue knocked from its pedestal and lying on the ground. The statue's helmeted head has broken away from its body.

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The Doughboy - a slang term for a U.S. infantryman - stood sentinel for almost 99 years at the fork where Route 27 (Raritan Avenue) and Woodbridge Avenue (Sixth Avenue) diverge.

Facing west toward New Brunswick, the statue seen the borough transform since it was unveiled in front of about 2,000 people on Nov. 11, 1921.

Police said that VFW 370 in New Brunswick was alerted of the accident and that its members were on the scene.

The future of the statue is unclear. A call to a member of the VFW 370 was not immediately returned.

An American flag and flag pole were also knocked down during the accident.

World War I was fought between 1914 and 1918 and is regarded as one of the deadliest conflicts in history. An estimated 9 million soldiers died on the battlefields of Europe.