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Nine Heroes Plaza

Nine Heroes Plaza

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

The Nine Heroes Plaza, also known as Vietnam Veterans Triangle, lies within the Elmhurst section of Queens. The parkland was first acquired by the City and transferred to NYC Parks in October 1924. Nine Heroes Plaza is a reference to the 14th-century French tapestries on display at the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. 

The Nine Heroes Tapestries were created around 1385 by French artist Nicolas Bataille. Woven into the fabric are representations of nine legendary heroes. The hangings portray three Hebrew heroes (Joshua, David, Judas), three Christian heroes (Maccabeus, Charlemagne, Arthur, Godfrey of Boullion), and three classical heroes (Hector, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar). Bataille drew inspiration from a well-known 14th-century poem by Jacques de Longuyon whose main character was braver than the nine great heroes.

The Vietnam Veterans Triangle retains the nine heroes theme and is a memorial to nine servicemen from Elmhurst who died in the Vietnam War. Jean-Claude Esnault was the first Elmhurst soldier to die in the war. The remaining eight men, Irwin Lewis Hoffman, Carlos Ugarte, Eduardo Paul Branes, David Bruce Tucker, Jeffrey Perez, Bruce Levy, Uldis Jack Malmanis, and Carlos Alberto Pedrosa, were all decorated soldiers from the neighborhood. The nine men and all the casualties of the war in Vietnam are commemorated on a cone-shaped monument that serves as the base of a flagpole located in the center of the park. Above the commemorative panels adorning the monument is a frieze of horses with flag and sword emblems. Below the flagpole is a band of stars and American eagles.

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