12 of the Parks that Honor Our World War I Heroes

November 11, 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when an agreement was signed between World War I Allies and opponent Germany to end the war. More than 10% of the troops who saw combat in World War I were from New York state. Today, more than 102 of all war memorials in NYC Parks honor our fallen soldiers and war heroes of World War I. Here are a few of the memorials we encourage you to visit to commemorate our World War I soldiers:

Highbridge Doughboy, Bronx

A large bronze statue on a granite base depicting a stoic, helmeted soldier in an active pose, his right hand about to hurl a grenade, and his left hand clutching a rifle with extended bayonet blade.

One of the most distinctive and recognizable variants of World War I memorials are the so-called “doughboy” statues. Though the derivation of the term “doughboy” remains in question, it was widely popularized during World War I to refer to infantrymen. Nine such statues were commissioned for New York City's parks, including the Highbridge Doughboy. After being in storage for more than 40 years, the Highbridge Doughboy was fully restored and erected in September 2018 at a new prominent location at the gateway to the Highbridge community, next to Yankee Stadium at Jerome Avenue and 161st Street. Learn more about the Highbridge Doughboy in Macombs Dam Park

Bronx Victory Memorial, Bronx

A raised paved terrace in which stands a massive limestone pedestal with sculptural reliefs. At the center of the pedestal, a Corinthian column is surmounted by a gilded bronze victory figure.

The Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay Park is one of two World War I memorial in NYC Parks to honor the fallen soldiers from a particular borough. The other is the Prospect Park War Memorial. The Bronx Victory Memorial and its adjacent grove of trees commemorate the 947 soldiers from the Bronx who gave their lives in service during World War I. Learn more about the Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay Park 

Prospect Park War Memorial, Brooklyn

Statues of an angel of death hovering beside a dying soldier dressed in a battle outfit behind a carved granite altar. A gracefully curving wall behind the statues supports six bronze honor rolls on which are listed the names of the 2,800 Brooklyn war dead.

The Prospect Park War Memorial was commissioned by Red Hook shipbuilder William Todd. The memorial, located lakeside near the ice skating rinks, honors the 2,800 deceased servicemen of Brooklyn who sacrificed their lives during World War I. Learn more about the Prospect Park War Memorial in Prospect Park

Dover Patrol Monument, Brooklyn

A 75-foot tall obelisk constructed from large blocks of granite surrounded by large trees in a park setting.

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. It is a replica of a monument installed at Dover, England, and also has a “twin” in Calais, France. Learn more about the Dover Patrol Monument

Next to the Dover Patrol Monument (shown in the far left of the photo) is a massive, black, 20” bore, Parrott cannon, founded in 1864. It originally stood in Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. Today, the cannon and the surrounding cannon balls dominate the landscape. Learn more about John Paul Jones Park aka Cannonball Park

Saratoga War Memorial, Brooklyn

Cropped photo showing the head and bust of a bronze statue of a female figure wearing a laurel wreath crown and holding a palm frond.

In 1920, the Citizen’s Memorial Committee of Districts 31 and 32 commissioned Italian-American sculptor James Novelli to create a memorial to honor those in the neighborhood who had given their lives in combat during World War I. Novelli created a bronze relief allegorical female figure holding a palm frond, and supporting a shield—symbols of peace and war. Learn more about the Saratoga War Memorial in Saratoga Park

Eternal Light Flagstaff, Manhattan

A massive stepped ornamental pink granite pedestal supporting a lavish decorative bronze cap depicting garlands and rams heads. Park-goers are sitting on the steps of the pedestal as others walk by.

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 which is intended to be lit at all times as an eternal tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice. Learn more about the Eternal Light Flagstaff in Madison Square Park

369th Regiment Memorial

A group of African-American veterans, some in uniform, surround a 12-foot tall black granite obelisk with gilded inscriptions.

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. Learn more about the 369th Regiment Memorial

Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial, Manhattan

A bronze statue depicting two soldiers, one kneeling and one standing, who support a third slumping comrade in battle.

The memorial’s central image, by esteemed sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, depicts two soldiers, one kneeling and one standing, who support a third slumping comrade in battle. The monument honors those men from the adjacent communities in northern Manhattan of Washington Heights and Inwood who gave their lives while serving their country in World War I. Learn more about the Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial in Mitchell Square

Dawn of Glory, Queens

A nude male figure with arms stretched upward holding a large flowing American flag, symbolizing a soldier ascending to heaven.

Famous bodybuilder Charles Atlas reputedly posed for this nude male figure in Dawn of Glory, a World War I memorial in Highland Park, Brooklyn. The statue was made by Italian-American sculptor Pietro Montana (1890–1978) to honor those in the local community who served in World War I. Learn more about the Dawn of Glory statue in Highland Park

Richmond War Memorial, Queens

A bronze statue of a soldier with head bowed in contemplation of a small cross protruding from a mound of dirt.

William Van Alen, the architect for the famed Chrysler Building, designed the granite pedestal of the Richmond Hill War Memorial in Forest Park. The statue of the infantryman (one of nine such doughboy statues erected in New York City’s parks) was sculpted by Joseph Pollia. The statue, pedestal, ornamental flagstaff, and bronze honor rolls commemorate those in the neighborhood who died in combat during World War I. Learn more about the Richmond Hill War Memorial in Forest Park

Winfield War Memorial, Queens

A seven-foot-tall female figure bears a sword in her right hand and an inscribed shield in her left.

This memorial honors seven local men who gave their lives in service during World War I. The monument’s seven-foot-tall allegorical victory figure bears a sword in her right hand and a shield in her left, and was said to be a “symbol of protection, good government and honor.”  The monument was sculpted by Italian-American sculptor James Novelli, who also created the Saratoga War Memorial, a World War I memorial in Brooklyn. Learn more about the Winfield War Memorial 

Pleasant Plains Memorial on Staten Island

A female figure in bronze stands on a granite pedestal holding a sword and palm frond high in the air while an eagle with its wings spread sits at her feet.

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. Learn more about the Pleasant Plains Plaza Monuments

Parks Citywide Monuments Conservation Program 

The Parks Citywide Monuments Conservation Program conserves and maintains the City's public art collection. This fall, the program has joined forces with park partners to dedicate extra special efforts at several park monument sites in time for the World War I Centennial, including the Highbridge Doughboy, Dover Patrol MonumentWashington Heights-Inwood War Memorial, the Eternal Light Flagstaff, and the Zion Park Memorial. Across the City this month the Parks Monuments crew is performing preventative care at more than two dozen World War I Memorials including  Father Duffy in Times Square, the Pleasant Plains Memorial, the Abingdon Square Doughboy in Greenwich Village, and the Carroll Park Memorial in Brooklyn. Learn more about the Monuments Conservation Program

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