Sunday, November 14, 2010

New York IV

An easy drive from Albany is Troy. We found this great site in Riverfront Park along side the Hudson River.

Located near the intersection of 3rd and Front Street, the site is dedicated to the 45 men from Rensselear County who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

The site consists of three components.

First is the wall which styled after a sandbagged bunker. The names of the 45 sons of Rensselear county are ever honored here. In addition, the following speaks to the brotherhood that is everlasting with vets.

"We shall be remembered: As children we played, as men we fought, as brothers we will always be together."

Second is the 10 foot tall statue of three soldiers representing all services and years of the war. Called The Vietnam Experience; Courage, Compassion, Pain, it attempts, beautifully I think, to capture each of these in the warriors depicted here. Note the detail on the dog tags (pic 5). Early participants in the war taped them together to prevent noise while in the bush. Later, the military issued tags with rubber edges for the same purpose. I am always glad to note when someone has done their homework at these sites. The sculptor certainly did on this one.

Third is a forty link chain from a destroyer that served in 'Nam. The links of chain were sold for $1,000 each to raise funds for the site. When I visited, I could find no evidence of the chain and I have no explanation for why it was not there.

Nearby this site are two other interesting memorials. The first is to James Connolly, the Irish Freedom fighter and Labor Leader, who was executed in 1916 by the British for his participation in the Easter Rising. He is noted for saying "Be men now, or be forever slaves" He lived in Troy for a while and is remembered here.

Just beyond that is a statue of the original Uncle Sam (Sam Wilson, 1766-1854) who came from Troy, too. His likeness has become synonymous with our vision of Uncle Sam. The story goes that as a meat packer when he supplied meat to the government he would mark the barrels of meat with a "U.S." which became Uncle Sam and the rest as they say, is history

From here, I move on to Iowa.

1 comment:

  1. I love the statue, and I love your picture of the hands!