The Archdiocese Remembers
The memorials located throughout the Archdiocese of New York vary. In many instances, churches issued honor roll plaques, some listing all who served, while others just listing those who died. Other parishes dedicated monuments outside the churches like flag poles, statuary, and other stone memorials to honor the dead. Chapels and other types of living memorials, physical places in use, were dedicated in memory of the First World War. Less traditional memorials such as tree plantings and stained glass windows can also be found throughout the Archdiocese. The diversity of memorials in the Archdiocese reflects the general notion of remembering the First World War and how each community had their own way of remembering. Some memorials lived on the church grounds, while others were erected in nearby cemeteries.
However, there are always those who would rather forget than remember. When asked about the war, one priest from Yonkers stated the following: “We did our best when the war was on and tried our best to forget it when the war was over.” This priest was not alone in this notion, and it could offer an explanation as to why there are not memorials erected in the 387 New York parishes open during the war. Additionally, many of the original churches have since been rebuilt and it is possible that memorials to the First World War were removed or lost.
The location of memorials in the Archdiocese of New York is an ongoing process. Click through the map below to learn more about the known memorials throughout the Archdiocese of New York. It is our hope to continue adding to the map as more are found. If you know of any memorials from the First World War that are in your church, please let us know so we can add them to our map. Send us an email with the subject "Arch NY WWI Memorial" to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to our map, we have also created a brochure that highlights the memorials. We encourage you to download the brochure and use it as a guide to WWI in the Archdiocese of New York. To download a copy of the World War I Catholic Memorials brochure for printing, click here.