Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn War Memorials’

The somber “Angel of Death” in Prospect Park

November 6, 2017

New York doesn’t lack for doughboy statues—a testament to the sacrifices made in the city while fighting World War I.

But the doughboy statue in a Prospect Park, nicknamed the “Angel of Death” for the somber, haunting angel beside the soldier, might be the most powerful war memorial in the city.

It’s at the southern end of the park near Parkside and Ocean Avenues, surrounded by a granite and bronze honor roll commemorating the 2,800 men and women from Brooklyn who died during the Great War.

In the center is our doughboy—rifle in hand, a bandage around his head—accompanied by a very Victorian-looking shrouded angel who appears to guide him into the afterlife.

“What makes this sculpture unique from other “pensive” Doughboy motifs is the angel behind him, either speaking or wrapping her protective wings around him to whisk him off,” writes Kevin C. Fitzpatrick in World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to The Great War.

“Her wings come over his head, and it appears he’s bent his head to hear her.”

Designed by Arthur D. Pickering and sculpted by Augustus Lukeman (he did the Straus Memorial on the Upper West Side), the Angel of Death honor roll was unveiled in 1921.

An estimated 35,000 Brooklynites attended the unveiling, and the ceremony was preceded by a march to the park of Gold Star mothers, Catholic priests, and hundred of Civil War veterans, says Fitzpatrick, all paying their respects to Brooklyn’s war dead.

[Photos Ephemeral New York]

The war memorials lining Eastern Parkway

May 29, 2010

Eastern Parkway, the grand boulevard that cuts through Crown Heights from Prospect Park, was conceived in 1866 as the nation’s first parkway.

Flanked by pedestrian malls for riding and strolling, this two-mile road features lovely towering elms lining the malls.

Eastern Parkway took on a more somber tone, however, after World War I, when Brooklyn residents began putting up plaques and planting trees honoring the borough’s war dead.

Today, these plaques aren’t always easy to find. Many were removed over the years because they damaged trees. Others became victims of the elements.

But after a restoration a few years ago, some are visible in the grass again—ghostly reminders of Brooklyn’s sacrifice and valor.