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Memorials to Visit in New York City on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is fast approaching and expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. Rather than spending the day relaxing on a beach (or in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike), a visit to some of New York City’s numerous monuments is a wonderful way to pay your respects to those who came before.

Lest we forget, here are a few of our top picks for monuments to visit this Memorial Day.

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New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial


Located in the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza at 55 Water Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the city’s only official monument to commemorate the Vietnam War. Dedicated under former NYC Mayor Edward Koch, the memorial was opened to the public in May 1985, marking the tenth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The plaza was chosen for its peaceful setting in lower Manhattan, providing a sense of respite for the families and friends of the 1,741 Americans who died as a result of their service in Vietnam.

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American Merchant Mariners' Memorial


The Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, according to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is a work in “unsettling realism.” Created by artist Marisol Escobar, the memorial was based off a faded photograph taken by Germans after a Nazi U-boat attack on a merchant marine vessel. The memorial is viewed differently depending on the tides, with one figure submerged and struggling beside the bronze boat. Located just south of Pier A on the north end of Battery Park, the memorial is meant to honor the thousands of merchant mariners who have lost their lives at sea throughout the course of American history.

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Fireman’s Memorial


Nested within Riverside Park in New York’s Upper West Side neighborhood, the Fireman’s Memorial is one of nearly a dozen monuments running along the historic Riverside Drive. Often considered one of the most impressive monuments in the city, the piece is believed to have been inspired by the Right Reverend Henry C. Potter, who remarked at a 1908 funeral for Deputy Fire Chief Charles A. Kruger that there were no memorials “to our brave citizens who have lost or will sacrifice their lives in a war that never ends.” Each year, New York City’s mayor, fire commissioner and thousands of uniformed firefighters gather at the memorial to honor the memory of those who have been lost to the profession.

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Riverdale–Spuyten Duyvil–Kingsbridge Memorial Bell Tower


The Riverdale–Spuyten Duyvil–Kingsbridge Memorial Bell Tower – or the Riverdale Monument for short – is located in the northern borough of the Bronx, next to the Henry Hudson Parkway. The monument was built to commemorate World War I veterans specifically from the neighborhoods of Riverdale and nearby Spuyten Duvil and Kingsbridge. Standing at 50 feet tall and 17.5 feet wide, the massive tower houses a 1762 Spanish bell that was allegedly created for a Mexican monastery and captured by General Winfield Scott during the Mexican War.

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National September 11 Memorial and Museum


No memorial visit would be complete without stopping by the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in lower Manhattan. Designed as a place of solitude and remembrance of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, the plaza is an 8-acre park lined with close to 400 white oak trees and accented by the largest manmade waterfalls in the country. The memorial is located at the footprints of the original Twin Towers and is lined with the names of everyone who died in the terror attacks on February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001. The Museum, situated in the heart of the original World Trade Center, is the country’s principal institution invested in documenting and studying implications of the tragedy that occurred on its site.

Want to visit all of these sites on Memorial Day, or another long weekend? Book a car with Luxor Limo to optimize your time and reflect on the nation’s history as much possible. Luxor will pick you up and take you wherever you need to go at your convenience.

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