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42780510 1096847413823889 3424949798212468736 nScenes from the rededication ceremony which took place last Friday in the Bronx, NYC.

NYC Parks rededicates the Highbridge Doughboy statue in the Bronx, after remarkable restoration

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
and
Ryan Hegg

Commissioner Libby O’Connell joined NYC Parks Director of Art and Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn, the East Coast Doughboys, representatives from the Bronx Borough President's Office, and local high school students, in rededicating the Highbridge, Bronx Doughboy.

The beautiful statue was damaged and kept in storage for 40 years, but was painstakingly restored -- and rededicated on the Centennial of New York’s costliest weekend of fighting, during the war.

The Highbridge World War I Memorial, also known as the Highbridge Doughboy, honors the 21 local servicemen who died while serving their country in World War I.

The sculpture was originally commissioned by the Highbridge Regular Democratic Club, and was erected in 1923 in a small triangle park east of the Washington Bridge, in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. It was later moved to a small vestpocket park adjacent to the bridge, today known as Bridge Park. After suffering incidences of vandalism and damage throughout the 1970s, the sculpture was removed from public view while the pedestal remained in Bridge Park.

With support from The World War I Commission's 100 Cities/100 Memorials Grant Program and the History Channel, NYC Parks Citywide Monuments Conservation Program restored the bronze Doughboy sculpture and replicated the monument's central plaque. As part of an NYC Parks Capital project, the pedestal was relocated from Bridge Park to a redesigned site at 161st Street and Jerome Avenue and reinstalled.

42705296 1096847277157236 6888280287470419968 nMembers of the East Coast Doughboy living history group participated in the event, providing ushers, a color guard in period military kit.

42716157 1096847207157243 1164080229073813504 nThe statue under wraps, prior to unveiling and rededication

42704312 1096847347157229 2001891850167779328 nAttendees lay remembrance poppies at the base of the statue, as part of the ceremony.

42754156 10156934081150815 6811321787855405056 nAuthor, historian, WWI expert, and Leader of the Eat Coast Doughboys, Kevin Fitzpatrick, delivers remarks at the ceremony.

42840318 1096847223823908 4675146728616230912 nWW1CC Commissioner Dr. Libby O'Connell and NYC Parks Director of Art and Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn host the rededication ceremony

42878924 1096847310490566 5736325829110005760 nScenes from the rededication ceremony which took place last Friday in the Bronx, NYC.

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