A faded war memorial in Grand Central Terminal

GrandcentralwarplaqueForget the network of rail lines bringing thousands of visitors and commuters in and out of the city every day.

Even without them, Grand Central Terminal is a fascinating place.

Opened in 1913, its starry-ceiling, cavernous concourse, marble stairways, and lovely clocks make waiting for a train a more enchanting experience.

And in a lonely corner on the subway concourse is a faded, mostly forgotten bronze tablet that commemorates the men who fought in a war that is officially 100 years old this year.

“In Memory of the Known and Unknown Employees of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company Who Made the  Supreme Sacrifice in the World War” it reads.


Thirty-six names are inscribed. We don’t know what these men did for a living, whether they dug tunnels or conducted trains, took tickets or worked in office jobs.

But we do know that their deaths overseas meant something to the long-defunct IRT.

Grand Central played a pivotal role during World War II; part of it was turned into a “Service Men’s Lounge” for soldiers coming and going.

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7 Responses to “A faded war memorial in Grand Central Terminal”

  1. penelopebianchi Says:

    I am delighted that you are writing about what you are writing about!

    It is a miracle! Keep it up!

    I adore it!


  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you!

  3. Newport Carl Says:

    Me too. It makes my Sundays out here in oregon

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you NC!

  5. William Krause Says:

    Excellent content. My compliments to you on what seems a mini term-paper in New York history.

  6. ephemeralnewyork Says:


  7. Ian schoenherr Says:

    Those interested in learning more about the listed men probably could find their WWI Draft Registration Cards. A look at familysearch.org shows that Abraham Mass, for example, was indeed an IRT ticket agent, Jules Snell was an IRT trainman, Victor Volz was an IRT signal man, and Arthur Rechnitz and William F. Navitski were IRT guards.

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