Monday, August 03, 2020

Peace, Love...And A Whole Lot Of Disrespect. Carroll Park War Memorial Graffitied Again

This past Sunday 
and after painstaking graffiti removal below
Every so often, the World War I Memorial, which stands in the middle of Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens, gets graffitied. And that is not ok. Defacing a memorial dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives in the service of this country is just so very wrong, even if the messages spray painted are of "love and peace."

On Sunday morning,  a Friends of Carroll Park volunteer reported the graffiti on one of the bronze plaques of the memorial and on one of the table and benches close by. 

Gary Dolan, the current president of Friends of Carroll Park commented:
"What remarkably stupid graffiti. A message of peace, love and 'Be good' transmitted by defacing a public park. Surprised they did not carve 'preserve nature' into the side of a tree."

Glenn Kelly, a long time member of the Friends group, who also happens to be my husband, immediately went to the park to clean off the paint. Glenn reported back:

"It took me about an hour to clean or cover up the spray paint which some young fools used to deface the park and the WW1 monument. We have many veterans who live here and perhaps families of those listed on the monument. This senseless act is so disrespectful to them.

I ask that all you parents teach your children to draw with chalk on the ground only. Please teach them that it is not OK to draw on the building and especially the monument. Please also help us in controlling the children who regularly trample and tear up the plants in our gardens. Our volunteers have invested a lot of time and spent a lot of money to plant and maintain these gardens. We are counting on you to supervise your children's activities and provide a good example. Please

Here is a bit of a history lesson, so that we may all appreciate the memorial's significance. To parents, please explain to your children that this is NOT o.k. And that starts with scribbling on the memorial with chalk.

From New York City's Parks Department web site:
"The monument consists of an 18-foot tall pink granite stele to which are mounted front and back bronze bas-reliefs of soldiers and sailors, crafted by Brooklyn-born sculptor Eugene H. Morahan (1869-1949). On either side are bronze honor rolls listing those who paid the supreme sacrifice for their country. The frontal image represents a soldier mourning his slain comrades while the rear composition’s central motif is that of a sailor on watch.
A gift to the City, the monument was commissioned by a local committee at a cost of $9,000 and dedicated in 1921. In 1994, as part of a $1.3 million upgrade of Carroll Park and playground, the monument, its sculptural reliefs, and commemorative plaques were fully restored


Anonymous said...

Sad. Maybe the park could have signs "Video Surveillance" - and set this up, or not -as a deterrent to future vandalism.

Anonymous said...

While i do not support vandalizing a monument or park property why does Glenn Kelly assume this was done by youngsters? If you don't know for sure, don't profile people. Children, tell you parents or older folks that when an adult profiles individuals, it a small step away from being racist, ethnophobe, or worse. Just because you say it politely, its not OK..

Glenn Kelly said...

To anonymous 2:02
I made an assumption that the vandals were young people. Unless you know that the vandals are not young people, then you have made an assumption as well. Everyone with some experience and/or common sense knows that my assumption is correct and yours is wrong but perhaps you are just looking for an excuse to call me a racist or ethnophobe. Please direct your energy toward something more productive.

Anonymous said...

as for the graffiti, it's best not to make any assumptions. go with the facts and hopefully evidence will emerge to reveal the perpetrators.

in the mean time, thanks for cleaning it up.

Anonymous said...

Unwise to assume that the vandals were young people.
Glenn, you're just plain wrong re: 'unless you know that the vandals are not young people, then you have made an assumption as well'.
You're the only person who has assumed anything. Just leave suspicions of age out of it.
Those small potatoes in the rear view... entirely agree w/ you-- vandalizing the park is not good.

Katia said...

Honestly, I am a bit dumbfounded that you guys are trying to vilify the one person who took time off to clean the graffiti this past week end.
Perhaps next time, he should just stay home and leave it on the monument.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was, wow, THANK YOU to Glenn to spending the time and energy cleaning up the graffiti. Now these comments... Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Glenn you're a hero!
(but also, don't assume it's the kiddos!)

c svanes kolding said...

if you take the emotion out of it and just read what was said, i don't think anyone is vilifying "the one person who took time off to clean the graffiti this past week end."

what people are asking is not to make assumptions about who did it because that inevitably contributes to bias and it's 2020, katia, where we ALL need to be aware of biases - some of which are deeply ingrained and therefore not readily visible, and others easier to spot.

that's it. plenty of people have thanked glenn for cleaning up the monument but it's also right to point out that assuming any of us know the identity of the perpetrator(s) is, at best, careless, and at worst, another example of the kind of bias that ultimately leads to wrongful arrests and prosecutorial bias (which nobody wants). i, for one, am sick of bias. i'm sick of people who peddle in bias and benefit from bias and i'm sick of being surrounded by people who won't examine their own biases. we need to do better.

SoleCable said...

The funny thing is y'all pointing fingers about someone pointing fingers...

Point is, lets all look out for the Park together and keep it beautiful. And more importantly, if you see a kid or elderly person tagging remind them to at least be creative with their tags and street art. I mean the peace sign? Cmon!

baa said...

As a young boy 1958 me and two friends so happen to be brothers took a walk to Carroll Park and they pointed to the name of their grandfather that in listed on the monument named Kearney.