This small Windsor Terrace sitting area is named Captain John McKenna IV Park in honor of a local hero.
John McKenna IV was born on March 17, 1976 and grew up two blocks away on East 2nd Street. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary grammar school and Bishop Ford High School, and earned the honor of Eagle Scout in Troop 14. McKenna earned a bachelor's degree in history from Binghamton University.
In 1998, he accepted a commission in the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Air Wing, where he served in tours in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Captain McKenna was highly decorated, receiving the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, among others. McKenna became a New York State Trooper in 2005, while continuing service as a reserve officer in the United States Marine Corps.
In February 2006, Captain McKenna’s unit, Company B, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, was called for duty in Iraq. While conducting combat operations in Fallujah on August 16, 2006, the unit came under heavy sniper fire. Lance Corporal Michael Glover was hit and mortally wounded and Captain McKenna was killed in action while trying to bring the lance corporal to safety.
This parkland site was acquired as part of the construction of the Prospect Expressway in the 1960s. The previously unnamed site was named Captain John McKenna, IV Park on September 8, 2018. In 2018, volunteer efforts by the Boy Scouts included weed removal, plantings, installing new benches and a flagpole, and sidewalk improvements. Through continued volunteer efforts, this greenspace continues to serve as a tribute to Captain McKenna's civic spirit and dedication to public service.