10 of the Places in Parks that Honor Our Veterans
There are hundreds of memorials honoring the nation’s veterans spread throughout the city's parks. Here are a few of the memorials we encourage you to visit to pay respect to our soldiers.
Visit our War Memorials in Parks page to find out more about the monuments near you and the battles they commemorate.
Macombs Dam Park, Bronx
After World War I, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor their local war heroes. The Highbridge Doughboy is one of nine such statues erected in New York City’s parks. "Doughboy" statues are the most distinctive and recognizable variants of World War I memorials. Though the derivation of the term “doughboy” remains in question, it was widely popularized during World War I to refer to infantrymen.
Van Cortlandt Memorial Grove, Bronx
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
The Memorial Grove honors local servicemen who fought in World War II, local soldiers who served and lost their lives in the Korean War, and those from the community who served in the Vietnam War. A variety of oak trees (a symbol of strength and endurance) were planted to provide shade and create a tranquil area for reflective contemplation. Bronze plaques dedicated to twenty-one soldiers were placed beneath each newly planted tree. In addition, plaques to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and to the sons of the American Gold Star Mothers were also dedicated.
Brooklyn War Memorial
Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn
source: Wikicommons, Ingfbruno.
This granite and limestone memorial is dedicated to the more than 300,000 heroic men and women of the borough of Brooklyn who served in World War II. Inside are displayed approximately 11,500 names of Brooklyn service members who died during the war.
Dover Patrol Monument
John Paul Jones Park, Brooklyn
The Dover Patrol Monument in John Paul Jones Park (named for the "father of the navy") is one of NYC's tallest World War I monuments at 75 feet tall! Dating back to 1931, the monument honors the heroic naval fleet that patrolled the English Channel in World War I.
Next to the Dover Patrol Monument is a massive, black, 20” bore, Parrott cannon (shown in the far left of the photo), founded in 1864. It originally stood in Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. Today, the cannon and the surrounding cannon balls dominate the park, which is located just outside the Fort Hamilton Army Base.
Eternal Light Flagstaff
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
This monumental flagstaff honors those victorious forces of the United States Army and Navy who were officially received at this site following the armistice and the conclusion of World War I. At the top of the monument's pole is a star-shaped luminaire that is intended to be lit at all times as an eternal tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice. The Eternal Light serves as the site where the annual citywide official Veterans Day ceremony takes place and the Veterans Day parade embarks up Fifth Avenue.
369th Regiment Memorial
142nd and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
The 369th Regiment Memorial at 142nd and Fifth Avenue is the most recent World War I monument installed in NYC Parks (most were installed in the 1920s). Honoring the famed “Harlem Hellfighters,” it was dedicated in 2006, and is a replica of a monument in Sechault, France, where the regiment valiantly fought.
East Coast Memorial
Battery Park, Manhattan
This awe-inspiring monument consists of an eagle gazing past eight 19-foot tall granite pylons on which are inscribed the names of the 4,601 American servicemen who died in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Kissena Park, Queens
The memorial plaza and sculpture honor the forgotten heroes of the Korean War. The bronze sculpture by artist William Crozier consists of a larger-than-life solitary soldier. On a smaller scale behind him are the silhouettes of five soldiers carrying a stretcher and scaling the dangerous mountain terrain of Korea. The plaza surrounding the memorial has two types of granite paving stones that are laid in an asymmetric pattern symbolic of the rice fields of Korea. Prairie grass, which is native across the U.S., grows at the base of the sculpture and represents the soldier's return home.
Tompkinsville Park, Staten Island
This statue honors the local soldiers who served in the Spanish-American War. Depicting a foot soldier dressed in military fatigues, with a rifle slung over his shoulder, the image is derived from the long marches that the infantry endured in the tropical Cuban climate.
Pleasant Plains Memorial
Pleasant Plains Plaza, Staten Island
The Pleasant Plains Memorial honors 493 soldiers and sailors from the Fifth Ward of Staten Island, including the 13 who lost their lives in combat, who served in World War I. Sculptor George Brewster’s wife posed for the allegorical figure holding symbols of peace and war.