2007-04-06 / Columnists

The Monuments At The Rockaway Beach/ Far Rockaway War Memorial

Commentary From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Back in the 1920s there was a national movement to erect memorials to honor those American boys who served in the Great War, to end all wars, in 1917 and 1918. The classic Doughboy Monument on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the Beach 94/95 Street plaza (Memorial Plaza) is Rockaway's effort for the nationwide movement. The name "doughboy" was said to have come about when Europeans noted that the U.S. military's large uniform buttons, one atop the other…looked like a dollar sign! The Rockaway monument was located at first on Beach 95 Street on the south side of the traffic circle at the landing of the original or first Crossbay Bridge (1924-1938).

The Doughboy Monument was officially dedicated with a great parade to the site on November 12, 1927, and a later article stated that many visitors came to see the statue of the World War I soldier.

When the old Crossbay Bridge was rebuilt and widened in the late 1930s, the monument was moved and rededicated at its present site in Memorial Plaza. In more contemporary times a statue to honor all women who served in the military was erected and dedicated opposite the Doughboy.

Views today shows the Doughboy statue as it looked originally, complete with the long bayonet of the time.

During the World War II years, the bayonet mysteriously disappeared, and to this day, nobody has a clue as to what happened to the missing piece of the monument.

Does anybody out there in Waveland know???

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