There are actually four memorials in the park. The first and most visually striking is the civil war memorial (seen above and in the next two pictures).

To borrow from an earlier (26 January 2016) post of mine:

The monument remembers soldiers of Ossining, New York, who died fighting in the Civil War. Those killed were men, both privates and officers, most from the 17th U.S. Volunteer Regiment and the 6th U.S. Heavy Artillery. At the memorial’s highest point, an angel in full-length gown displaying wings is down on one knee with head bowed and hands folded, mourning and honoring those who perished in the fighting. Kneeling Angel is one of two Civil War remembrances in Ossining. The angel, surmounted on a pedestal of granite and marble, is cast in “white bronze.” This description partly obscures the detail that this material is not actually bronze (an alloy of copper and brass); but rather, it is comprised of copper, tin and zinc. The pedestal design presents in three sections. Its lowest is its base; in an older picture from the Westchester County Historical Society, the stone base seems a well polished, variegated marble. The pedestal’s second and third sections, following Scharf, are comprised of “two massive blocks of granite….” The lower contains inscriptions and plaques with the names of the war dead; two bronze, profile bust-view relief plaques, evidently painted brown, on the north-facing panel that of Lincoln and on the south-facing, a uniformed Civil War soldier. The upper pedestal section displays bunting, flags, cannon and drums. These three sections are capped by the kneeling angel. Neither artist nor maker(s) appear to be known. While the monument’s design and sculptural program are multi-dimensional and far-reaching, the work’s general deteriorated condition seems to suppress further impression-making.

After the close of the Civil War – Scharf states “shortly after,” Hernandez puts it at “1870,” a Ladies’ Monument Association emerged in the town of Sing Sing (now Ossining), formed by women seeking to erect a monument to remember and honor the men who had died in the conflict. (The year 1870, then, is the assumed Start of the monument’s creation process.) By 1872 the group had raised enough money to put the monument’s cornerstone in place, which it did on July 4, 1872. In order to continue to the next development stage, the Ladies Association and local Civil War veterans combined forces and created the Monumental Dramatic Association. This group put on entertainments, plays, which allowed them to raise further funds so they could complete the monument; they did so, in spite of difficulties, and on May 30, 1879, the monument was dedicated. The dedicatory ceremony was witnessed by a large group of townsfolk and others – veterans under the Grand Army of the Republic banner as well as local militia units, state and local officials and many civic, fraternal and religious organizations.

The monument is situated in Nelson Park, near the cross of Washington Avenue with U.S. 9 (also known as the Albany Post Road or, locally, South Highland Avenue). Originally, the Kneeling Angel was placed at the junction of Church and Main Streets, in the downtown area of Ossining. The monument was relocated in April, 1884 to the old Park School grounds, and later, when a new Park School required building, in 1939, the monument was situated across Edward Street to Nelson Park. In Nelson, it was placed initially in its “lower” part. Today, the memorial, along with other monument works, graces its eastern sloping edge.

Next there’s a memorial to those who died in “the war”. I assume that this means the First World War. I think we all know that at the time this was referred to as “the war to end all wars”. Little did the know what was coming a mere 21 years later.

Then there’s a memorial to the dead of World War II.

Finally there’s an rather interesting memorial to a person rather than a war: The Reverend Henry E. Duers.

The young Henry Duers escaped from enslavement at a plantation in the Town of Windsor in Bertie County, NC in February of 1865 and at great risk to his life, passed through Confederate lines to enlist in the Union Army. Following the war he settled in Richmond VA and studied for the ministry at the “Richmond Seminary For the Education of Teachers and Preachers among the Colored Freedmen of the South.” Ironically, the Institute was housed in a building that was once a jail for runaway slaves.

Sometime after he completed his studies he came north and began the work for which he had trained and been called to perform. In 1884, he was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Newburgh, NY. Subsequently in 1890, he came to Yonkers, NY where he was the Superintendent of the Sunday School at the Messiah Baptist Colored Church in Yonkers, NY. In that year he also came to Ossining, NY (then called Sing Sing) and started a mission with a Sunday Bible class and a Wednesday evening prayer service.

On November 23, 1890, Reverend Duers along with the members of his little congregation participated in the 100th year celebration of the First Baptist Church of Sing Sing, incorporated in 1790. Noting this anniversary and the approaching Christmas holidays, Reverend Duers was inspired to call his growing congregation, the “Centennial Star of Bethlehem Colored Baptist Church.” In 1892, he oversaw the construction of his congregation’s first building at 148 Spring Street. In 1932, it was torn down and a new and larger building was put on this same site and in 1997 a new Star of Bethlehem Missionary Church was built at 304 Spring Street on the grounds of the old Ossining Hospital.

Over the years of his of his active pastorate, Reverend Duers increased his flock and assured that the mortgage on the church building and other church debts were paid off. He was well known for his insistence on equal rights and was not hesitant to speak out when members of his church and others were not treated fairly. He retired in 1924 but remained active in the church and his community until his death in 1940 at age 94. At that time, he was the last Westchester veteran who served in the Civil War. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers. (Patch)

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF-1 and Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4-5.6

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