A row of trees in Union Square mark a genocide

ArmeniantreesNew York is a city of memorials. Some you can’t miss: Grand Army Plaza, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Riverside Park, and the new 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Others are so low-key, you might walk past them thousands of times without realizing they exist. That describes this row of trees on the northern border of Union Square Park.

Lovely, yes. But unless you notice this small plaque at the eastern end, you’d never know that they were planted almost 30 years ago to commemorate the Armenian Genocide early last century.


New York’s “Little Armenia” community was centered not too far away in the upper 20s at Lexington Avenue.

But there doesn’t appear to be any connection between the former Armenian neighborhood and the memorial, which remains understated and little-known on one of the busiest stretches of Manhattan.

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3 Responses to “A row of trees in Union Square mark a genocide”

  1. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    Trees often serve as ‘living links’ in mankind’s historic events – they can live longer than a human and they become touchstones to our past. This specially planted grove of trees should be well known in New York City; Yet, I am saddened to learn their story has been somewhat lost in time, as has even the ‘genocide fate’ of these innocent people. It was a wise selection that this photo and story has been shared here.

    Let this wonderful blog become a reminder — a tree can provide beauty, shade, help show Nature’s story, along with providing an enhancement to a neighborhood’s air quality. They even add ‘a cha-ching / financial boon’ to the value of the area’s landscape. Seriously, a tree can serve as ‘a silent sentry’ representing a story. Please, make sure every similar tree memorial or honor is marked with a plaque. A properly chosen size and shaped tree in an urban setting, can grow into a priceless gift to the future.

    Thank You for having included this piece in your wonderful collection on NYC and it’s amazing array of stories.

  2. Elizabeth Dodov Says:

    It is sad that our memories are so short and so limited mostly due to political considerations. The fact that the US government still does not recognize the genocide, despite having extensive documentation in their archives is incomprehensible to me. The grove of trees in Union Square is a special reminder of this tragedy. Thank you for reminding us.

  3. trilby1895 Says:

    Thank you, Ephemeral, for bringing this memorial to our attention. You are right; as many were/are the times I’ve walked along that edge of the park, I’d not noticed the memorial but now I most certainly will. Perhaps your contribution here will open eyes that would have remained closed – mine included.

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