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Carroll Gardens Honors Veterans Day in Carroll Park

By Nikhita Venugopal | November 11, 2013 4:27pm
 Residents and veterans in Carroll Gardens commemorated Veteran's Day in front of a World War I memorial in Carroll Park on Monday.
Veterans Day in Carroll Park
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CARROLL GARDENS — Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from the neighborhood were honored in Carroll Park Monday morning as residents gathered to mark Veterans Day.

Standing beside the park’s World War I memorial, John Burke, 92, who served in the U.S. Army in 1941, rang a bell 11 times just after 11 a.m. Nov. 11 to commemorate the day.

“Were you actually at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed?” asked 7-year-old Talia Wilkscher as Burke signed an autograph for her.

Burke, who has lived on Fourth Place for almost his entire life, thought for a moment and replied that he arrived there shortly after the attack on Dec. 7.

Veterans who live in and around the neighborhood formed an honor guard to place a wreath of flowers at the base of the war memorial.

The Carroll Park War Memorial honors the memory of men in the eighth Assembly district who lost their lives in military service during World War I, according to the Park’s Department website.

The 18-foot monument bears the image of a soldier mourning his slain comrades and was dedicated in 1921.

On Veterans Day, Frank Polemeni visits the Carroll Park memorial and remembers his four brothers, who were also veterans and have since died, he said.

“It’s been here all our lives,” said Polemeni, a veteran of the Korean War who grew up across the street from Carroll Park.

At the ceremony on Monday,  Nicholas Palermo was moved by the number of locals who had gathered to honor their neighborhood veterans.

“Words can’t describe,” said Palermo, who has lived in Carroll Gardens for five decades. “I’m proud to be a veteran.”

While the war memorial reminds older generations of past wars, younger children who play around the monument often aren't aware of its significance, he said.

“They don’t realize what it is,” said Palermo. “But I’m sure they’ll eventually find out.”