Friday, June 26, 2009

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch-Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza is a monument to victory. It is built on an arch that is reminiscent of Paris's L'Arc de Triomphe. It gives meaning to the phrase, "History is written by the victors." The South might as well not exist if we took this building at face value. The only thing that redeems it from jingoism is a lovely inscription on top, "To the Defenders of the Union-1861-1865." As it was designed, it is a monument to honor the Union Army.

The marble statues of the soldiers and sailors on both sides of the arch give it character. You see bold and brave men in action or contemplation.

William Tecumseh Sherman placed the cornerstone for the arch on October 10, 1889 and President Grover Cleveland appeared at its unveiling on October 21, 1892.

Inside the arch itself are the statues of Lincoln and Grant mounted on horses. William O'Donovan sculpted the two men and the artist Thomas Eakins did the horses.

For people visiting New York, it is a site to see. You can take the 2 or 3 trains and get a nice taste of Brooklyn. Get out of Manhattan and see a lovely monument commemorating the Civil War.

1 comment:

  1. William O'Donovan was a Confedrate soldier who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. He, ironically, is the sculptor of the beautiful Irish Brigade monument located in the area of the Wheatfield. His unit did not see action against the Irishmen.

    Mike Fitzpatrick