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Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 Memorial Garden


  1. Memorial Garden and Monuments
The Memorial Garden concept was conceived by members of the Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 and implemented through a partnership with the Village of Scarsdale. This site offers an unique, healing design with a winding path that enables the visitor to reflect in a peaceful setting. Private enclaves shelter individual, handcrafted monuments depicting each American war experience, including the first 9/11 monument in New York State. 

The Memorial Garden serves to forever commemorate America's fallen heroes and serve as a reminder for the sacrifices made for freedom. The Garden, located by the Village of Scarsdale Pool Complex on Mamaroneck Road, which is the same road used by George Washington's troops during the Revolutionary War, is open to the public and supports the American Legion's commitment to keeping the memory of our Nation's heroes alive.

Through a cooperative agreement with Scarsdale American Legion Post 52, the Village of Scarsdale maintains the Garden as a Living Memorial to the memory of the honored dead of Scarsdale, NY, who fought and died in the service of their country, as well as to the memory of the deceased members of Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 who also served in the Great Wars.
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Enduring Freedom Monument

The Enduring Freedom monument is the first 9/11 monument in New York State.

The Enduring Freedom monument was under design when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. The Scarsdale American Legion Memorial Committee immediately refocused the design effort, having sought community input for recognizing the 110 Westchester residents who lost their lives in the attacks. As we now know, a total of 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two airliners slammed into the Twin Towers. That figure includes 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including 64 on American Airlines Flight 77, when the airliner that struck the building. On Flight 93, 44 people died when the airliner crash-landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The dedication on May 5, 2002 of the Scarsdale American Legion Memorial Garden included special focus on the Enduring Freedom monument.

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Revolutionary War Monuments

The outbreak of the Revolutionary War in April 1775 split the residents of Scarsdale into three camps: those who favored separation with the United Kingdom, those who opposed revolution and wanted to remain loyal to the British crown, and those (principally members of the Society of Friends, popularly known as “Quakers”) who tried their best to stay out of the conflict.  Some prominent Scarsdale land owners remained loyal to Great Britain.  Chief among them was Anne Heathcote DeLancey, a daughter of Caleb Heathcote, first lord of the Manor of Scarsdale.

When the New York Provincial Congress met at White Plains in July 1776 to ratify the Declaration of Independence, Scarsdale residents Jonathan Tompkins and Jonathan Platt were among those who represented Westchester County during the proceedings.   Also present at the first reading of the Declaration were Samuel Crawford, a cooper, militia captain and member of the Committee of Safety.
Scarsdale was not able to avoid the conflict for long, for on October 28, 1776 the opening phase of the Battle of White Plains was fought within the present boundaries of the village.   A portion of the British Army marching up Mamaroneck Road attacked an American force under General Joseph Spencer and drove it northwest across present-day Greenacres toward Chatterton Hill, now known as Battle Hill, in White Plains.  After the American forces were driven across the Bronx River, General Sir William Howe, commander of the British army, is believed to have set up his headquarters in the Griffen-Fish House at 31 Mamaroneck Road.

For most of the Revolution Scarsdale found itself in the “Neutral Ground,” a no-man’s land between the American lines in the Hudson Highlands and the British lines in New York City.  The Neutral Ground was frequently raided by partisans of both sides, and the civilian population suffered terribly.  The Varian family, who operated the present Wayside Cottage as an inn and tavern, supported the Patriot cause and were forced to flee to Connecticut to escape British raiders.  James Varian served as an officer in a company of militia, and it is said that he was paralyzed during the last 20 years of his life due to the wounds and exposure that he suffered during the Revolution.

Jonathan Tompkins, father of future Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins, evacuated his family from Scarsdale after the beginning of the war.  His son Caleb, a future Congressman, served in the 2nd Westchester County Militia Regiment and narrowly avoided capture by the British by fleeing his home and hiding in a swamp northeast of White Plains.  Samuel Crawford was not so fortunate.  While serving as a captain in the Westchester County Militia, he was killed during a skirmish in present-day Tuckahoe on November 18, 1777.  A monument at the intersection of White Plains and Winter Hill roads commemorates Captain Crawford’s sacrifice.

The Revolutionary War finally came to a close in September 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  Peace between the United States and Great Britain would not last for very long, as simmering tensions between the two countries would result in the War of 1812.
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Mexican-American War and War of 1812 Monument

The first combat of the Mexican-American War took place along the Rio Grande on April 25, 1846. The United States declared war less than a month later on May 15. Although no residents of Scarsdale are known to have served in the armed forces during this conflict, the community did play a role in producing material for the war. In 1847, Ernest F. Haubold, a native of Germany, purchased property along the Bronx River in Moringville, the community that had sprung up in the vicinity of the present-day Hartsdale train station. Within a year, Haubold had constructed a gun powder manufactory that included “four grinding mills, a dyeing house, saltpeter magazine, two coal houses, store house and car house, besides a spacious stone dwelling.”  Known as the Bronx River Powder Mills, Haubold’s complex produced gunpowder for the United States Army during a portion of the Mexican-American War. The millpond for the manufactory still survives across Greenacres Avenue from Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, while the “spacious stone dwelling” is now a private residence on Fountain Terrace. During the war, two civilian employees of the mill lost their lives during explosions: F.C. Kogh on March 21, 1847, and Henry Franz on April 30, 1847. The Mexican-American War came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848.

A second armed conflict between the United States and Mexico took place in 1916-1917 after the Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico. One Scarsdale resident, Frederick W. File, served with the New York National Guard when it was called into service and sent to the Mexican border. A native of England, File was a member of the 71st New York National Guard Infantry. He died in 1921, perhaps as a result of his military service.

The War of 1812 commenced when President James Madison signed a declaration of war on June 18, 1812.  One of President Monroe’s strongest supporters during the conflict was Governor Daniel D. Tompkins (1774-1825).  A native of Scarsdale and son of Revolutionary War patriot Jonathan Tompkins, Governor Tompkins was one of the country’s most effective political leaders during the war, and borrowed money on his own personal security to help fund New York’s war efforts.  He also received command of the Third Military District, which consisted of portions of New York and New Jersey.  Partly because of his success as a wartime governor, he was chosen as James Monroe’s running mate in the 1816 presidential election.  The ticket was successful, and Tompkins served as Vice President from 1817 to 1825, dying shortly after the expiration of his second term.  A monument at the junction of Post and Tompkins roads commemorates the location of Governor Tompkins’ birthplace.

Two Scarsdale residents played roles in their state’s militia during the War of 1812.  William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), son of Revolutionary War officer Major William Popham, served as an army clerk and was among the men of southern Westchester County who mustered in to meet a British landing at Mamaroneck in September 1813.  Jonathan Varian (1763-1824), who owned and operated Wayside Cottage as a tavern and inn, was in command of the 12th Regiment of New York State Militia at the outbreak of the war.  Colonel Varian and his men were stationed in Brooklyn when a British fleet threatened the city, and he was later reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses that he made to supply his own regiment.

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Spanish-American War Monument

Rising tensions between the United States and Spain came to a head following the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898.  The United States declared war on Spain on April 25, 1898, and over the next four months conducted successful invasions of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.  A protocol of peace between the two nations was signed on August 12, 1898, and the war concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.

About 300 soldiers and sailors were killed during the Spanish-American War, while more than 2,000 died of disease during the brief conflict.  Among the latter was William R. Carmer, a member of a Scarsdale family who was residing in Mount Vernon at the outbreak of the war.  He served in Cuba with the 71st New York Infantry Regiment and took part in the fighting around Santiago, including the Battle of San Juan Hill.  Corporal Carmer fell ill with fever and died aboard a transport ship on September 8, 1898 while returning to the United States.  He was buried at sea.  The veterans of Spanish-American War from south-central Westchester County honored Corporal Carmer’s memory when they formed William R. Carmer Camp No. 8, United Spanish War Veterans.  Based in Mount Vernon, this post was assisted by a women’s group, Emma L. Carmer Auxiliary No. 8, which was named for Corporal Carmer’s mother.

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World War I Memorials

The United States declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917.  Between that date and the Armistice of November 11, 1918, 131 men from Scarsdale would enlist in the armed forces of the United States and its allies.  Additionally, 100 men who were considered too old for service abroad enrolled in the Home Defense League.  This unit drilled twice a week “for any service that may be needed of them.”  Residents of the village also volunteered with the Red Cross, purchased Liberty Bonds, and operated a community farm that grew vegetables for local consumption and helped alleviate the wartime food shortage. 

Seven men from Scarsdale lost their lives during the conflict:

- Philip Fetzer of the Navy Reserve, who served aboard the USS Kroonland.

- Henry Norman Grieb of the Lafayette Escadrille, a unit of the French Aéronautique Militaire that consisted mostly of American pilots who volunteered for service before the United States entered the war.  The first Scarsdale resident to give his life during the conflict, Grieb died in Bourzis Hospital, France on August 27, 1917 from wounds received in airborne combat. 

- F. William Maier, who at 18 was the youngest of three brothers who served in the war, served in the Motor Transport Corps from September 1917 until he took ill in January 1919.  He died near Brest, France on February 1, 1919. 

- Thomas Moran, a native of Ireland who had worked as a servant at the home of John Shreve on Old Orchard Lane, belonged to the 228th Aero Squadron and died of pneumonia on April 20, 1918.

-  Harold S. Osgood enlisted in the 102nd Field Signal Battalion in July 1917.  Reaching the rank of sergeant, he died of influenza on October 30, 1918.

- Henry C. Steuernagel, a private in the 321st Machine Gun Battalion, died following an operation at Camp Gordon near Atlanta, Georgia, on December 6, 1917.   **Name missing from list and should be next to the Star by the blank space**

- Elmer Taylor-Further information not available

In November 1919, Leonard Schultze, a Scarsdale resident, completed a design for the Honor Roll.  The Village Board sent copies of the preliminary list of names that were to appear on the memorial so that the names could be made as accurate as possible.  The Honor Roll was unveiled at Village Hall on July 4, 1921.  The Reverend George E. Talmage of Christ Episcopal Church of Oyster Bay, Long Island, who had formerly been pastor to President Theodore Roosevelt, was the featured speaker. During a renovation of Village Hall, the monument was put into storage, but it was later rescued by members of Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 and installed in the Memorial Garden.

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World War II Monuments

The entry of the United States into World War II sparked an unprecedented effort by Scarsdale residents to serve their country, both in the armed forces and on the home front.  An estimated 2,100 men and women served in the military during the conflict, while an additional 42 served abroad in the American Red Cross and American Field Service.  By the end of the war, 82 Scarsdale men were either killed or listed as missing in action.  One of the most well-known casualties was John Van Kuren Newkirk, a naval aviator known as “Scarsdale Jack” who became one of the first well-known American heroes of the conflict.  Newkirk was an officer in the First American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, an outfit better known as the “Flying Tigers.”  On January 3, 1942 Newkirk led his squadron, nicknamed the “Panda Bears,” on a successful raid on a Japanese airfield in Thailand.  Although Newkirk and his men were in Chinese service at the time, this attack was one of the first offenses of the war involving United States citizens, and the actions of the Flying Tigers provided a morale boost for the American public.  Newkirk was killed when his plane crash in Thailand on March 24, 1942.

Scarsdale residents not of military age found other ways to support the war effort.  The World War I veterans of American Legion Post 52 oversaw the services of 591 air raid wardens and 144 auxiliary police.  Between 1942 and 1944 the Legionnaires also manned an Aircraft Warning Service observation tower that it had constructed in the Fort Hill neighborhood of Edgemont with help from the Scarsdale Town Club, Scarsdale Forum.  An emergency medical service under the direction of Dr. Berton Lattin participated in air raid drills and trained to serve as first responders in case of an attack.  Villagers participated in salvage drives that collected material for the war effort.  Scarsdale boasted high rates of participation in several war bond drives that purchased a total of 125 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces.

In December 1942 the Scarsdale village board decided to create a “Community Honor Roll” listing the names of village residents serving in the armed forces of the United States or any of its allied nations. A portion of the monies raised from salvage drives were placed into a fund to construct this temporary memorial.  The Scarsdale Honor Roll, which originally listed about 1,100 names, was placed in Boniface Circle and was dedicated on July 4, 1943.  Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 donated a flag pole and flag that were placed alongside the honor roll.

Although the Scarsdale Honor Roll remained in place after the end of World War II and was a center for memorial activities, many village residents felt that a more permanent monument was necessary to honor those who had served their country.  Planning for a monument began in June 1947, and over the next two years money was raised by the Scarsdale War Memorial Fund. The monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1949, following a parade led by retired Major General William H. Draper, Jr., a longtime Scarsdale resident and former village trustee who served as grand marshal. The World War II monument on Boniface Circle is the only war memorial in Scarsdale outside of the Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 Memorial Garden.


Korean War Monument

The Korean Peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel at the end of World War II, with American armed forces occupying the lands south of the line and Soviet armed forces occupying the lands north of it.  In 1948, the Soviet-occupied portion of the peninsula became the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, better known as North Korea, while the American-occupied portion of the peninsula became the Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea.  Each nation viewed the division of Korea as temporary and each felt that it was the rightful government for the entire peninsula. 

Receiving Soviet and Chinese approval, North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950.  In response, the United Nations Security Council passed resolutions condemning the invasion and recommending that member nations provide assistance to South Korea.  Within three months, the North Korean forces had captured most of South Korea and the United Nations forces were hemmed in at the Pusan Perimeter in the southeast portion of the Korean Peninsula.  A successful amphibious landing planned by General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the United Nations forces, at the port of Inchon near Seoul in September 1950 was the beginning of a counter-offensive that recaptured South Korea.  

In October 1950, United Nations forces crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea.  In response, China entered the war, driving the United Nations back across the 38th parallel. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union began providing air support to the North Korean and Chinese forces.  Eventually, the United Nations forces recaptured most of South Korea, and fighting continued around the 38th parallel until July 1953 when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed.  

Nearly 1.8 million American service members were in the Korean War theatre from 1950 to 1953.  The armed forces of the United States suffered 33,739 battle deaths and 2,835 non-combat deaths during the conflict.  Six Scarsdale men were among those who gave their lives:

- Private Joseph V. DiPietro, aged 19, 34th Infantry Regiment, was reported missing in action on July 20, 1950, and was later declared killed in action.

- Charles T. Fischer, United States Navy, died on October 16, 1951.

- Colonel Albert W. Fletcher, aged 37, 17th Bomb Wing, United States Air Force, was killed in a plane crash while flying from Korea to Japan on June 2, 1952.

- Second Lieutenant Paul C. Hart, aged 21, 64th Field Artillery Battalion, was killed in action on December 13, 1950.

- First Lieutenant Gilbert B. Pearsall, Jr., aged 24, 28th Field Artillery Battalion, was killed in action on July 4, 1953.  His father had served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

- Second Lieutenant Elmore C. Smith, United States Marine Corps Reserve, was killed by an explosive on September 16, 1951.

Vietnam War Monument

American military advisors first arrived in Vietnam, then a part of French Indochina, in 1950. By the end of 1963, 1,600 American military personnel were stationed in the Republic of Vietnam. More commonly known as South Vietnam, this country consisted of all of present-day Vietnam south of the 17th parallel. Along with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, more commonly known as North Vietnam, South Vietnam was created provisionally in 1954 pending elections that were to be held to reunify Vietnam in 1956. The government of South Vietnam refused to participate in these elections, Shortly thereafter, the National Liberation Front, better known as the Viet Cong and dominated by the North Vietnamese Communist Party, was formed to organize and initiate armed resistance against South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.
American military participation in the Vietnam War escalated after the United States Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964. By 1969, over one-half million American service members were part of U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, the command tasked with prosecuting the Vietnam War. The last American combat troops departed Vietnam in March 1973 and North Vietnam completed its conquest of South Vietnam with the capture of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Of the 58,200 Americans who lost their lives as a result of the Vietnam War, 13 hailed from Scarsdale. They are:

- Sergeant Howard R. Bruckner, aged 19, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, was killed by small arms fire on August 18, 1969

- Private Brian J. Clune, aged 22, 1st Cavalry Division, was killed by small arms fire on August 8, 1966.

- Major General William J. Crumm, aged 47, 3rd Air Division, United States Air Force, was killed when his B-52 collided with a similar plane over the South China Sea on July 6, 1967. He was the first general officer killed in the war.

- Corporal George R. Darnell, aged 22, Signal Corps, was killed in an air crash on June 9, 1967.
- Specialist Fourth Class Thomas J. Dean, aged 24, 9th Infantry Division, was killed by small arms fire on January 9, 1968.

- Petty Officer Second Class Nelson M. Hyler, aged 21, United States Navy, was killed by a land mine on July 3, 1970, while serving with the Seabees.

- Specialist Fourth Class Edward H. Jackson, Jr., aged 21, United States Army Vietnam, was the victim of a non-combat related homicide on February 16, 1967. Specialist Jackson’s grandfather, Edward H. Jackson, served as Scarsdale town clerk and village clerk in the 1930s and 1940s.

- Lance Corporal Walter A. Joyce, aged 28, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps, was killed by small arms fire on February 22, 1969.

- Captain Gomer D. Reese, III, aged 27, 173rd Airborne Brigade, was killed during a flight over Laos on April 24, 1970. He was listed as missing in action until 2008 when a joint American-Laotian team recovered his remains. Captain Reese, whose father was severely wounded during World War II, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

- First Lieutenant William G. Scott, Jr., aged 26, a Military Assistance Command Advisor, was killed in an air crash on February 12, 1969.

- Sergeant William D. Van Tassel, Jr., aged 20, 9th Infantry Division, was killed by small arms fire on October 7, 1968.

- Captain William J. Wilders, aged 26, 1st Infantry Division, was killed in a helicopter crash on November 16, 1966.

- Major Charles C. Winston, III, aged 25, 7th Air Force, went missing in action on August 1, 1967 and was declared dead in January 1974.

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