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Madison Square Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, November 19, 2001

WAR MEMORIALS, OLD AND RENEWED


Photo by Malcolm (Cinema) Pinckney

The Eternal Light monument in Madison Square Park was a focal point for remembrance on Veteran’s Day, Sunday, November 11, 2001. It was also the starting place for the annual parade up Fifth Avenue. Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern stood beside Mayor Rudolph (Eagle) Giuliani; Mayor-elect Mike (Network) Bloomberg; Senator Charles (Watchman) Schumer; Michael (Old Sarge) Handy, Commissioner for Veteran’s Affairs; and Vince (Mastiff) McGowan, Vice President of the Manhattan Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, to open Veteran’s Day ceremonies.

Parks observed Veteran’s Day weekend with the rededications of a Vietnam Memorial Plaza on Friday, November 9 and the Bronx Victory Memorial to World War I on November 11.

... IN MANHATTAN

The Vietnam Veteran’s Plaza, at 55 Water Street in lower Manhattan, has been invested with the memory of our servicemen since 1985 when Mayor Ed Koch dedicated it to honor the 250,000 men and women of New York City who served from 1964 to 1975, especially the 1,741 who died fighting.

With the New Water Street Corporation, the Vietnam Veteran’s of America, the City Parks Foundation, the United War Veterans Council, the Alliance for Downtown New York, and the active support of Mayor Rudolph (Eagle) Giuliani, Parks re-created the plaza, adding a Wall of Honor and a water feature, and planting abundant greenery. Revised in this way, the plaza is more conducive to quiet contemplation. The work was organized by the Veterans Plaza Anniversary Committee: Harry (Double Nickel) Bridgewood, Therese (Ranger) Braddick, Vince (Mastiff) McGowan, and Michael (Iron Mike) O’Connor.

...IN THE BRONX

A color guard and rifle honor guard from Theodore Roosevelt High School as well as color guards from the Bronx County Veteran’s Group, the Boy Scout Troop 208, and the New York City Transit Authority’s "Transit Pride Pipe and Drum" made some patriotic noise to celebrate the restored Bronx Victory Memorial. Bronx Borough Commissioner William (Zorro) Castro, Council Member Madeleine (Dolphin) Provenzano, State Senator Guy Velella, and other local officials and veterans groups met at the foot of the monument in Pelham Bay Park. After undergoing a $975,000 restoration, the 120-foot column, the tallest war memorial in the borough, has been completely restored and its Winged Victory statue gilded with a shining patina.

The Bronx Victory Memorial, also known as The Bronx County War Memorial, is located on the southern edge of Crimi Road in Pelham Bay Park. Erected in 1932, the memorial was designed by landscape architect John J. Sheridan and sculptors Belle Kinney and Leopold Scholz. The monument was dedicated September 24, 1933. The main element of the memorial, dedicated to the 947 Bronx soldiers killed in World War I, is a limestone pedestal supporting a limestone column capped by a bronze Winged Victory sculpture. A paved plaza surrounds the towering monument. This 32-acre site was renovated at a cost of $400,000 raised by borough veterans and several local organizations.

The memorial received extensive cleaning and repair. Its limestone masonry and ornamentation were replaced. The missing eagle’s head was recarved, as was the massive globe supporting the statue. The bronze sculpture was removed from her perch, repaired, regilded, and installed on a new globe. The Veteran’s Day ceremony marked the completion of phase one of restoration.

By Mark (Seller) McKeller

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

(Monday, November 21, 1988)

PARKS DRAINS HARLEM MEER IN ORDER TO DREDGE IT

The Harlem Meer is literally going down the drain. With a ceremonial twist of a bright red valve last Friday, Commissioner Stern sent the Meer’s 13 million gallons of water rushing down to the East River so that Parks could proceed with a $3.7 million dredging and revitalization of the man-made lake located in Central Park’s northernmost section.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Unromantic as Monday morning."

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

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