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The Battery

East Coast Memorial map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Facing the Statue of Liberty across New York harbor, the East Coast Memorial is located at the southern end of Battery Park. This memorial honors the 4,601 missing American servicemen who lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean while engaged in combat during World War II. Designed by the architectural firm of Gehron and Seltzer, the monument consists of a large, paved plaza punctuated by eight massive 19-foot tall gray granite pylons (four each on the southern and northern sides) onto which are inscribed the names, rank, organization and state of each of the deceased.

On the eastern side of the plaza a monumental bronze eagle, sculpted by Albino Manca (1898–1976) and set on a pedestal of polished black granite, grips a laurel wreath over a wave--signifying the act of mourning at the watery grave. The monument was commissioned by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), a small independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government, and was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) on May 23, 1963.

 

 

East Coast Memorial Details

  • Location: South end of park, east of Dewey Promenade
  • Sculptor: Albino Manca
  • Architect: Gehron and Seltzer; Paul Cret Harbeson, FAIA
  • Description: Eagle on pedestal between two ranks of four inscribed pylons (eight pylons in all; axis aligned with Statue of Liberty)
  • Materials: Eagle--bronze; pedestal--granite; pylons--Chelmsford granite
  • Dimensions: Eagle H: 18'6"; each pylon H: 19'
  • Cast: 1961
  • Dedicated: May 23, 1963
  • Foundry: Bedi-Rassy Art Foundry, NY
  • Inscription: 1) pedestal of eagle, front: 1941 **** 1945 / ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE / OF HER SONS / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN HER SERVICE/ AND WHO SLEEP IN THE AMERICAN COASTAL WATER / OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN / INTO THY HANDS, OH LORD

    2) pedestal of eagle, back: 1941 *** 1945 / IN ADDITION TO THE 4,597 AMERICAN SERVICEMENT HONORED HERE / WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN HER SERVICE AND / WHO SLEEP IN THE AMERICAN COASTAL WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN / THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HONORS THE 6,185 SEAMEN OF THE UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE / AND THE 529 SEAMEN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE / WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING WORLD WAR II

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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