Madison Square Park
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Eternal Light Flagstaff
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. The monument was commissioned by Rodman Wanamaker at a cost of $25,000.
The massive stepped ornamental pedestal, made of Milford pink granite, is inscribed with dedicatory tributes to those who served their country in World War I, and lists also the names of significant battle sites. It was designed by Thomas Hastings (1860-1929), whose architectural firm Carrere and Hastings were responsible for many notable buildings, including the New York Public Library. The lavish decorative bronze cap at the base of the flagstaff includes garlands and rams heads, and was sculpted by Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925). The monument supports a star-shaped luminaire at the top of the pole, which is intended to be lit at all times as an eternal tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.
The monument was dedicated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1923, and each year is the site where the annual Veterans Day parade concludes, and official ceremonies are conducted.
Eternal Light Flagstaff Details
- Location: South west side of park
- Sculptor: Paul Wayland Bartlett
- Architect: Thomas Hastings
- Description: Flagstaff with ornamented base
- Materials: Bronze and Milford pink granite
- Dimensions: Flagstaff H: 30'; Base H: 17'9" W: 22' D: 22'
- Cast: 1924
- Dedicated: 1924
- Donor: Rodman Wanamaker
- Inscription: East face:
TO OUR HEROES / 'TIS THE / STAR SPANGLED BANNER / OH LONG MAY IT WAVE/ O'ER THE LAND / OF THE FREE / AND THE HOME OF / THE BRAVE / YPRES-LYS / AISNE LYS / SOMME DEFENSIVE / SOMME OFFENSIVE /
OISE-AISNE / ST. MIHIEL / CAMBRAI / AISNE-MARNE/ VITTORIO-VENETO/
MEUSE-ARGONNE / SOMME OFFENSIVE / CHAMPAGNE-MARNE / MONTDIDIER-NOYON/ THIS STAR WAS LIGHTED / NOVEMBER XI MCMXXIII/
IN MEMORY OF THOSE / WHO HAVE MADE / THE SUPREME
SACRIFICE / FOR THE TRIUMPH OF / THE FREE PEOPLES / OF THE WORLD/
ERECTED / TO COMMEMORATE / THE FIRST HOMECOMING / OF THE
VICTORIOUS / ARMY AND NAVY / OF THESE UNITED STATES / OFFICIALLY
RECEIVED BY / THE CITY OF NEW YORK / ON THIS SITE / ANNO DOMINI
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