The lasting power of an East Village war memorial

The bronze plaque is at eye level, affixed to the facade of a handsome red-brick walkup built in 1833 at 33 East Seventh Street.

Still, it’s easy to miss. Dark and weathered with age, it’s a subtle, powerful memorial to the brothers, sons, and husbands who lived on this East Village block and died as soldiers in World War II.

East Seventh Street is the heart of the East Village’s Little Ukraine, populated by Ukrainians who immigrated before the war as well as thousands who came after, displaced from their homes and resettled around Cooper Square.

“The plaque on the wall was placed long ago by the Saint George Catholic War Veterans Post No. 401, a local Ukrainian-American veterans organization which then owned the building, later ceding it to the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church down the block,” stated Jonathan Kuhn, NYC Parks director of art and antiquities, in a 2014 New York Times story.

Ukrainian names are listed on the plaque, along with Italians, Irish, German, and Jewish names. In total, 180 men from the block are immortalized in metal. (At left, the building in 1940, before the war.)

It’s one of more than 270 war memorials all over the city. Some are grand while others, including this one, are quite understated, commemorating military men and women who served and died from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan.

Considering the Ukrainian banner and flag under it, the memorial seems to be cared for and not forgotten. (East Village native and author Mick Dementiuk, care to translate?)

[Third photo: NYC Tax Photo 1940, Department of Records and Information Services]

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7 Responses to “The lasting power of an East Village war memorial”

  1. kina99@comcast.net Says:

    The Ukrainian writing under the plaque translates as Stricha or Streecha. It means meeting place. It’s also a Ukrainian restaurant run by St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church across the street. The food is Ukrainian, delicious, inexpensive, and prepared fresh daily by elderly ladies of the church as something to do with their time that benefits the church and gives them not just a purpose, but also a meeting place. You can google Streecha for the menu and prices. Their pierogies (varenyky in Ukrainian) are absolutely the best of any restaurant in the city and half the price!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks so much—I didn’t even notice it was a restaurant. But now all I can think of is warm pierogies….

  2. Mykole Mick Dementiuk Says:

    All I can add is in my book
    https://mykoladementiuk.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-ukrainian-melody-sort-of_9.html

  3. [Blog Glück] November 2019 – Seitenglueck Says:

    […] Age und den Bällen der Academy of Music. Und es gibt einen Beitrag zum (schnell zu übersehenden) War Memorial in der 33th East Seventh Street im East Village von New York City. Toll fand ich auch den Beitrag zum Evacuation Day am 25. […]

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