The World War I doughboys of New York City

I had no idea there were so many doughboy memorials in NYC. I want to visit them all. Today, if i’m not mistaken, is the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into WWI. I have a first cousin twice removed, Wesley Heffner (private first class, Co. B 26th infantry) who didn’t make it home from this war. He died at age 20 in 1918 from wounds sustained in battle. It’s important to remember these things. our memories tell us where we came from, and restore the connections between us and our honored dead.

Ephemeral New York

No one quite knows where the term “doughboy” originated.

Coined in the 19th century, it may have come from the doughnut-like buttons on soldier uniforms, or it might stem from their doughy rations.

But this nickname for the millions of American infantrymen (and thousands of New Yorkers) who fought in World War I endures—as do the bronze doughboy statues that were funded by veterans’ groups and ordinary citizens after the war’s end in November 1918.

With April 6 marking the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into what was then known as the European War, take a look at a few of the nine doughboy statues standing in city parks and corners.

At the top left is the doughboy of DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell’s Kitchen—an excerpt from war poem “In Flanders Fields” carved in granite below him.

The Abingdon Square doughboy, pistol at the…

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Posted on April 6, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My grandfather went over at 33 years old (he was considered ancient) as a mule driver (teamster). Yes, they still used army mules, but not many civilians knew how to handle them. That’s why they took him so old. He spent the war hauling caissons about. Came home, and when he was ancient (90 years), finally told what he saw and experienced. He said the Dead were the lucky ones. After hearing what he experienced, I would have to agree.

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