Friday, May 24, 2013

Top 3 Memorials to Visit in NYC on Memorial Day Weekend

photo from nycgovparks.org
Today marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Downtown is home to several memorials. Our war memorials provide places of solace and contemplation. Many of them are in public parks and serve as permanent reminders of the high price the USA and other nations had paid for the preservation of freedom and security. Many memorials are paid for by private funding efforts and not federally funded. My three favorite memorials are:

Korean War Memorial aka The Universal Soldier 
One of the most striking memorials in New York. The 15-foot-tall black granite monument is in the shape of a Korean War soldier. The center is cut out. You can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by looking through the silhouette. Every July 27 at 10 a.m., the anniversary of the exact moment in New York when hostilities ceased in Korea, the sun shines through the soldier’s head and illuminates the commemorative plaque installed in the ground at the foot of the statue.

American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial 
It is on a breakwater close to where you line up to board the Statue of Liberty ferry in Battery Park. The monument is a bronze group of men clinging to their sinking boat. During World War II their boat (a merchant marine vessel) was struck by a Nazi U-Boat. They were photographed by the Germans while their boat sank.

Vietnam War Memorial
Located at 55 Water Street (which was the largest office building east of the Mississippi River during the 1970s when it was built). The Vietnam Memorial was flooded during hurricane Sandy and some repairs in the area are still underway. The Vietnam Veterans Plaza honors the 1741 New Yorkers who died during the Vietnam war (1964-1975) In total 250,000 New Yorkers served in the United States armed forces. The Vietnam War tried to curb the spread of communism in Southeast Asia.