It was accidental that Geo and I came across the Honor Roll Monument in the Prospect Park.
We were just walking through the park, a trip I called from Quadriga to Horse Tamer since Macmonnie’s statues are so dominating and powerful. Then we decided to walk along the lake and had to pass by the lot dedicated to the so-called “environmentally friendly” parking lot of the skating rink. As the music in the rink was just fading a little bit, we saw the monument.
Nothing can be found from the official website of the Prospect Park. Nor have I heard about it. Erected in 1920, the moment is dedicated to around 2800 Brooklynites who died in World War I. Six large bronze plates, which are mounted on an arched Milford pink granite moments bear the names of the victims. In the center, a soldier is embraced by the angle of the dead.
From museum planet website, I learned that Arthur D. Pickering was the architect and Henry Augustus Lukeman designed the statue with Daniel Chester French as his associate. The veil on the face of the angle of the dead looks almost semi-transparent. But she does not look frightful. With her head tilted toward the solider and her wings gently curved over, the sentimental statue conveys protection and sympathy.
The statue was not in good condition, but even worse, two of the six bronze plates were missing!
On June 26, 1921, the day when Monument was unveiled, Rev. Parkes Cadman said:
I hate war. Who does not, unless some military lunatic who should not be at large? But we must remember that peace has its dangers no less renowned. If we as a nation sink to a luxury-loving level, then we have lost he sprit which made the United States a possibility and the sacrifices of these men and women have been in vain.
Stealing plates cannot be a casual theft since each bronze plate weighs a ton. They may or may not know all names were hand-carved to pay tribute to the war victims. But all they cared is the material itself. Before we left, I looked at the monument again: The two empty space where plates used to hang, looked strikingly bright as if two scars that would never heal.