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Hero Park, World War I, Staten Island, NY, c. 1919

Hero Park (1 of 2)
New York State Archives, NYSA_A0412-78_B13_F05_HeroPark_01
Document Description
Photograph of a Hero Park for veterans of World War I in the borough of Richmond, c. 1919.
What type of memorial was set up for the Staten Island soldiers who died in World War I?
What makes this memorial different than other World War I memorials?
How has the memorial changed over time?
Why is it important to name and honor those that sacrificed their lives for World War I or any war?
In this photograph, what patriotic symbols do you see?
Historical Challenges
Research the number of soldiers in your home town that died during World War I.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Art: Draw a World War I memorial remembering fallen soldiers from your home town.

Historical Context
Hero Park honors the 144 Staten Island soldiers who died in World War I. The streets that surround it are Victory Boulevard, Louis Street, and Howard Avenue. There are large evergreen trees, dedicated to each veteran that decorate the park. Plaques with each soldier’s name once adorned Sugar Loaf Rock.  

There was also a tablet which explained the dedications. The tablet proclaimed: “This Granite Boulder Left Here During the Glacial Period Has Been Known for Generations as SUGAR LOAF ROCK and Marks the Boyhood Playground of the Men Whose Gallant Deeds it Now Commemorates.” After the signs began to disappear in the 1970s, the remaining signs were removed to avoid further vandalism.

Dr. and Mrs. Louis A. Dreyfus donated the original 1.924 acres of the property to the city in 1920. A community group called the “Friends of Hero Park”, now collects financial contributions in order to help maintain the grounds and also plans events for the park. The flagpole, trees and Sugar Loaf Rock continue to remind park users of the heroic deeds of the Staten Island soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

Essential Question
How are soldiers recognized for their service and sacrifice?
Check for Understanding
Describe the memorial in the photograph and explain its purpose.