Memorial Parks

A memorial park provides visitors with an atmosphere of natural beauty, peace for quiet meditation and a sense of dignity and honor to the memory of loved ones. Each grave is marked with a dignified sculptured bronze marker which lies flat on the ground instead of upright like the competing headstones found in traditional cemeteries.

The Memorial Walls

In the center of the Memorial Park stands the Memorial Wall, a shining black granite monument. Its reflective surface mirrors the surrounding trees, grass and monuments to create a quiet protected place of reflection. Maya Lin chose polished black granite to evoke feelings of enduring legacy, healing and education. Each of the two 200-foot-long sections contains 58,000 names, inscribed on 70 separate panels. The names are arranged chronologically by dates of casualty, beginning and ending in the center of the Memorial Wall where the two sections meet.

A Memorial Walk accompanies The Wall, providing an access route to the Memorial Sections. The space allows veterans organizations and others to donate memorial monuments in honor of specific groups, units or campaigns. These are placed on walls designated for this purpose.

The Gold Star Monument

In honor of the local Gold Star Families, this monument provides a place of permanence for them. It also demonstrates that their community cares for them and appreciates the ultimate sacrifice paid by their Loved Ones.

The memorial consists of a gold star mounted within a black granite circle. In the center is a soldier saluting. It is a first of its kind in the nation.

Representatives from America’s Gold Star Families spoke to the Village Council at a work session on Sept. 8. They sought approval to send out an RFP and begin fundraising for the monument. The Council unanimously approved the request. The Committee will be submitting the formal resolution to the Council for approval at its regular public meeting on Oct. 9.

The Vietnam War Monument

Located in Suffolk County, this memorial park is a place of healing and reconciliation. The monument commemorates all veterans who served in the war, as well as those who died, and it was built to help heal veterans of the traumas they experienced during that time.

Lin’s design included two black granite walls that came together, engraved with the names of those who died or were declared missing in action. The names begin and end at the center of the memorial, creating a circle that conveys just how overwhelming the casualty total was.

The Three Servicemen statue stands nearby, depicting men in a moment of crisis. The In Memory plaque was added on Veterans Day, 2004 to honor the names of soldiers who were not eligible for inscription on The Wall.

The Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree is a symbol of hope and resilience at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Originally planted in the 1970s, the callery pear tree was discovered charred with one branch still alive in the rubble after 9/11. It was nursed back to health at Arthur Ross Nursery in the Bronx and returned to Ground Zero in 2010.

Now a thriving 30 feet tall, the Survivor Tree offers shade to visitors and serves as a reminder that there is life after tragedy. To honor those who lost their lives, the Memorial Park gives seedlings of the Survivor Tree to communities affected by terror attacks and natural disasters around the world. Each year, the Memorial Park also hosts a ceremony where the tree is replanted.

The Peace Statue

Unlike traditional cemeteries that use vertical monuments, memorial parks offer flat, dignified engraved markers and landscaped plots. These grounds are designed to maintain a park-like setting to promote an uplifting atmosphere for services that are less about mourning and more about life celebrations.

The Peace Statue in the center of Memorial Park honors children from around the world who died from radiation-induced leukemia. The statue is surrounded by thousands of origami cranes offered by people who visit to remember Sadako and pray for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The statue sculpted by Seward Johnson re-creates the kiss heard ’round the world that a sailor gave a nurse in Times Square to celebrate V-J Day. The traveling sculpture has drawn criticism from those who think it represents a sexual assault or is kitschy.

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