The statue was originally dedicated in 1923, and was made after local residents raised money for the sculpture in honor of the soldiers from the Fifth Ward of Staten Island, and specifically honoring the thirteen who lost their lives in combat in the first World War. It was put placed on a traffic triangle, but that proved to be a precarious spot. Between the years of 1968 and 1970, the sculpture was damaged by two car accidents, and it was removed to storage, and it allegedly mysteriously disappeared there.1 The sculpture as it stands today was a recreation from historic photographs, fabricated by the Modern Art Foundry of Queens, funded by the city of New York, and rededicated in 1997.2
The image is a powerful reminder of the men who gave their lives for the war effort, and is a striking image to behold. It is a picture of resilience and hope in the face of terror and confusion, with the face of the woman looking off to a better future. The neighborhood of Pleasant Plains uses that street for many town traditions such as decorating their large pine tree for Christmas, and Halloween festivities, and this piece stands as a proud part of both Pleasant Plains, and Staten Island, and for New York as a whole, for the sacrifice of the young men of the Fifth Ward.
1NYC Parks. “Pleasant Plains Plaza Monument.” nycgovparks.com. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/pleasant-plains-plaza/monuments