Chelsea Ceremony Pays Respect to ‘Veterans of All Generations’

The “Doughboy” statue on Ninth Ave. is the site of Chelsea’s annual Veterans Day ceremony. File photo by Sean Egan.

Revived in 2014 for the first time since the ’60s and observed every year since, this respectful gathering has reclaimed its rightful place as a Chelsea tradition. On November 11, you are once again invited to join in paying tribute to veterans, active duty members of the military, National Guard members, and reservists.

The ceremony takes place in front was has become known as “The Chelsea Doughboy.” Originally installed on April 7, 1921, the bronze soldier stands atop a 14-foot-tall granite statue, as a tribute to Chelsea residents who gave their lives for our country during World War I (this year’s ceremony falls on the 99th anniversary of the Armistice).

A wreath, provided by State Senator Brad Hoylman, will be placed at the base of the statue. Participants and supporters include members of the 10th Precinct Auxiliary Unit (led by Capt. Paul Lanot and Officer Ramon Sandoval), the FDNY’s Seventh Battalion, EMS Station Seven, the London Terrace Tenants Association, Holy Apostles Church, St. Peter’s Church, Guardian Angel – St. Columba Church, Hudson Guild, and Chelsea Square Restaurant.

“It’s especially important that veterans of all generations be recognized in this time of uncertainty,” said event organizer Frank Meade. “There is no longer a system of national conscription and today fewer than one percent of Americans are said to serve others in any capacity. Our active duty and reserve military, and many discharged veterans, have served multiple combat deployments in the ‘sandbox’ of Afghanistan and Iraq. While too many in today’s society have elevated the ‘one percent’ to an honored status, the real elite are these men and women who sacrifice their time, youth, family and, in many cases, their life’s blood, to do the right thing.”

Rain or shine at 10 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 11. Meet on the west side of Ninth Ave. (btw. W. 27th & 28th Sts.). The ceremony will last approximately 15 minutes, allowing participants to walk to the Veterans Day Parade starting point at 24th St. and Fifth Ave. For more info on the history of the statue, visit nycgovparks.org/parks/chelsea-park/monuments/232.