A bronze nine-foot-tall statue of a U.S. soldier holding a bayonet commemorates the men of the 14th Infantry who fought in World War I. The statues stands in front of the Park Slope Armory, formerly known as the 14th Regiment Armory.
The statue is at the front the building, on the corner of 15th Street and Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.
The statue, created by Anton Schaaf in 1923, stands on an inscribed granite base.1 The front of the pedestal reads Dedicated to the Men of the 14th Infantry Who Were Engaged in the World War 1917-1918. The inscription on the rear of the base states, To Commemorate and the Perpetuate their Heroic Services and their Unselfish Devotion to Duty. The sides of the granite base include two different quotes. One side has the quotation Strike for Your Altars and Your Fires Strike for the Green Graves of Your Sires God and Your Native Land and the other side reads And How Can Man Die Better Than Facing Fearful Odds for the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temple of His Gods.2
The Fourteenth Regiment Memorial statue is a classic depiction of a doughboy, a World War I U.S. Soldier. 3 A steel-helmeted infantryman, holding his rifle at the ready, bayonet in place, charges towards the enemy.4 The statue is paying respect to the 14th Infantry Regiment, a volunteer force which fought in World War I. 5
The statue was temporally removed on May 13, 1996 and returned on May 23 of the same year. It was removed in an attempt to preserve the armories historic sculptures. The statue was cleaned in order to clean off the collected grime and natural deterioration of the bronze in the elements. In response to neighborhood discontent, especially among veterans, the statue was returned to its original spot, as well as several other armory artifacts. 6
The Park Slope armory building, formerly known as the 14th Regiment Armory, is a short distance away from Prospect Park and multiple subway stations. The neighborhood surrounding the Armory was once home to mostly working class people, after the Great Depression. Today, however, many of the buildings are home to the middle and upper-middle class. 7
Within the Armory building there is a Veterans Museum, contributed to by veterans in the community and by the curators of the building itself. The Museum not only contains history of American veterans going back as far as the Revolutionary Way, but it also contains interesting facts and artifacts about New York City, the Park Slope Area and the Armory building itself. The website has extensive information on the museum.8 http://parkslopeveteransmuseum.net/