© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Groundbreaking held for Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park

photo of Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park schematic design
Pat Bradley
photo of Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park schematic design

Veterans in the Town of Plattsburgh highlighted a ceremony to break ground on the Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park.

Town officials and veterans’ groups in Plattsburgh have broken ground on a project to honor veterans going back to the beginning of the country’s history. Friends of Crab Island and Sons of the American Legion member John Rock is the visionary for the memorial park.

“This project has meant so much to the North Country," said Rock. "We have had veterans in every single conflict and war since the birth of the country in 1776 when Benedict Arnold fought right down here at the Battle of Valcour. And to have such a park as this to honor our veterans and to help educate the building of a beautiful nation that we all live in and cherish to what it is today is just, I can’t express how greatly I feel and how honored I am to be here and to see this project finally taking off.”

The project germinated in 2017 when Rock approached Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman with his idea to honor veterans. Town planners began working with the American Legion on concept plans and the project has now reached Phase 1 to begin construction.

“This park has a strong connection on the land side over to Crab Island and also to Valcour Island," said Cashman. "That represents what we’re calling the Triangle of History. And we will continue to find opportunities to interpret the battles and the stories that are on Lake Champlain, but also find points of connection to the greater region. More importantly, or just as importantly I should say, is that this will be a multi-generational space. It is absolutely critical to get our youth involved in understanding the stories of what built this nation and continues to keep this nation strong. What we are looking to do is a gateway. It’s not simply a park. It is a gateway to encourage further exploration of our rich history.”

State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones of the 115th district secured the first funding for the Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park – an initial infusion of $250,000. That led to more funding including an American Battlefield protection grant and the Town of Plattsburgh securing over $900,000 in grants plus private donations. The Democrat says he is thrilled to be a part of the project.

“I am so confident, so confident, that we’re going to move leaps and bounds in the future to make this project a place where not only people from this area can go but people from all around New York and the Northeast and all around the country can come, bring their children, to see history come alive, teach them what our veterans have done for our country.”

The Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park is being built on former Plattsburgh Air Force Base property along the shore of Lake Champlain. It is directly across from Crab Island where both American and British soldiers from the Battle of Plattsburgh, which occurred on September 11, 1814, are buried.

Related Content