New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: NYC Parks unveils Coast Guard Memorial at New Battery Square

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October 4, 2021

New York Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff, Commander of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz, and President of the Battery Conservancy, Warrie Price, today celebrated the re-dedication of the Coast Guard Memorial in its new landscaping at the battery. They were joined by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, New York Department of Veteran Services Commissioner James Hendon, and members of the community.

“The Coast Guard Memorial has had local and national significance since its inauguration over half a century ago, and we are pleased to re-dedicate this pioneering sculpture in its new landscaped setting at The Battery,” said declared Commissioner Fialkoff. “We thank the United States Coast Guard and The Battery Conservancy for their partnership in helping us honor this important branch of the United States military for their selfless service through this work of art.”

During his remarks, Commander Admiral Schultz thanked New York City for returning the renewed battery sculpture as the location allows “millions of visitors to learn a bit of Coast Guard history … and be moved to pay tribute to three military, representing all of the military, who served our nation in World War II. “

“These valiant soldiers depicted in the Coast Guard Memorial will greet our visitors from around the world with courageous determination as they enter the park’s newly reconstructed portal,” said Warrie Price, President of The Battery Conservancy.

Parks installed the monument in the new Coast Guard Memorial Square, which features a paved path with new benches and native plantings framing the artwork. The bronze sculpture appears to be the first national war memorial depicting an interracial group in which the figures are of similar stature. It was created by painter and combat veteran Norman Millet Thomas and dedicated in 1955 to members of the Coast Guard who served in World War II.

The sculpture was stored in 2004 to allow for the redesign of The Battery and the construction of the South Ferry tube station. The construction of the square was funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the amount of $ 770,000. The Battery Conservancy will maintain the new green space, and Parks’ monuments team will look after the monument as part of its city-wide program.

“The story of New York began at The Battery,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “New York City became America’s largest city because of its harbor. It is only fitting that today, overlooking our beautiful harbor which the Coast Guard still protects today, we are dedicating to new the Coast Guard Memorial in honor of those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedom during World War II.

“The new Coast Guard Memorial Square is a fitting tribute to the heroic sacrifice of the 1,917 Coast Guard members killed in WWII and the many who fought to protect our freedom,” said DEP Curator James Hendon. “For generations to come, people around the world will be able to rest in the shadow of this iconic sculpture and reflect on the central role the Coast Guard played in helping win the war.”

Schultz noted that “future viewers” of the memorial “will then” gaze out into the water and see Coast Guard personnel carrying on the tradition, right here in New York Harbor.


This press release was produced by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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