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City Of Memory: Remembering The War Dead

by Cristian Salazar, May 26, 2013
 

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NEW YORK — The five boroughs are home to dozens of memorials and monuments to the war dead. They are found in churchyards, at cemeteries, parks and the space where the Twin Towers once stood.

In his "Out of Fire and Valor: The War Memorials of New York City from the Revolution to 9-11," historian and Vietnam veteran Carl Snyder writes:

"The cost of belonging to the city that lives beneath the upraised torch of liberty has never been small. Those who rose at the call of our country, the innocent who died for their belonging to it, and the acts of homage and remembrance that have always followed — their stories lead us from the mass graves of the patriots upon the shores of Brooklyn to the annihilation at Ground Zero."

Here, then, are images of some of the city's memorials found from the Bronx to Staten Island.

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According to the website of the city's Parks Department, nearly a quarter of the roughly 270 monuments and memorials in parks pay tribute to the soldiers and other war dead from the country's past wars. Among the most tragic is the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument at Fort Greene Park, in Brooklyn. It pays tribute to the more than 11,500 men and women who died, many from starvation and disease, while being held captive by the British during the Revolutionary War.

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The Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay Park is dedicated to the hundreds of soldiers from the borough who died during World War I. Snyder calls it "among our finest memorials — large, complex, and with a setting equal to its scale.

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Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn is the resting place for thousands of Union soldiers and POWs. According to the National Cemetery Administration, nearly three acres were set aside for the Civil War dead.

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Although not strictly considered a war memorial, the cannon at John Paul Jones Park is listed on the city Parks Department's web site for war monuments. The Kings County Memorial Day Parade, one of the oldest in the nation, is expected to wind its way through Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to the park, this morning. A service will include a 21-gun salute.

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On the official blog of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, spokesman Michael Frazier writes of three medals that were left behind by soldiers from post-9/11 wars:

With tributes like these medals, we can observe the wider importance of the 9/11 Memorial as not only a place of remembrance for the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of 2001, but also a place for us to remember the sacrifices our service men and women who continue to help keep our country safe.

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