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Ossining Group Seeks Info About 'Virtually Unknown' WWI Memorial

The World War I monument at the Campwoods property on Narragansett Avenue in Ossining is in need of restoration.
The World War I monument at the Campwoods property on Narragansett Avenue in Ossining is in need of restoration. Photo Credit: Miguel Hernandez

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Ossining Camp Meeting Association has begun the process of restoring an elaborate decades-old World War I memorial originally constructed in Ossining by Swedish Methodists from Brooklyn.

In a statement announcing the Camp Meeting Association’s initiative, Miguel Hernandez said the group is seeking the public's help in returning the “virtually unknown memorial” to its former glory.

He said the monument resides on the historic and private “Campwoods” property on Narragansett Avenue and features the names of 13 men and one woman on a stone tablet suspended between two 8-foot columns with a globe and eagle on the top.

The memorial is one of several in Ossining that honors those who fought in WWI, according to Hernandez, who cites the black picture frames on the walls of the Ossining Municipal Building at 16 Croton Ave. That memorial features the names of hundreds of Ossining residents who served in “The Great War.”

Another memorial is the stained glass Rowe Memorial at Trinity Episcopal Church, which features the shields of America’s allies on it and names church members who served in the effort.

Hernandez said the Ossining Historical Society Museum also displays memorabilia from WWI and that the V.F.W. Edmund Genet Post 1041 is named after a WWI fighter pilot who was the first American serviceman to die after the United States declared war on Germany.

“Each of these memorials, regardless of size or design has a story,” Hernandez said, “but sadly, these memorials and their very purpose—to honor in perpetuity the more than 4 million Americans who served in the war and the more than 116,000 who were killed—are known but to a few.”

While urging residents to rediscover Ossining’s WWI memorials, Hernandez called them “the most salient material links Ossining has to its communal ancestors who fought in that terrible war.”

“These memorials are silent historians of the conflict, its participants and those determined to honor and remember them,” Hernandez said. “Rediscovering these memorials and the stories they tell will contribute to their physical and cultural rehabilitation and serve as fitting tribute to the sacrifices the WWI generation made for the cause of Democracy.”

The Camp Meeting Association is in the very early stages of its effort to restore the Campwoods Memorial and is asking anyone with information about the monument to step forward.

Anyone who may be able to help with the effort should contact Hernandez at miguel.hdz10562@gmail.com.

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