Roadway officially co-named ‘Forest Park Memorial Drive’
by Patrick Kearns
May 23, 2017 | 3672 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The road that winds past Oak Ridge in Forest Park now officially bears the name “Forest Park Memorial Drive.”

The road is lined with historic trees that were planted as a tribute to Woodhaven soldiers that were killed in World War I. It was a history once forgotten, but recently uncovered by local historian Ed Wendell, who pushed for the co-naming.

“This is all about tradition and honoring the sacrifices of 70 young men from our community,” Wendell said.

Wendell said that Forest Park is home to several memorials, including Strack Pond, which is named after Private First Class Laurence Strack who was killed in Vietnam, the 9/11 memorials at the Forest Park Bandshell and Dry Harbor Playground, the Richmond Hill War Memorial, and Victory Field.

It was once a popular spot for Memorial Day remembrances as early as the 1920s. Those early ceremonies were attended by civil war veterans. Woodhaven’s annual Memorial Day parade used to end on the road in front of Oak Ridge.

“This is something that stretches back a long way,” he said. “To see this finally getting a name that really fits and pays honor to the people that are here is good.”

Wendell said it will also be a great opportunity for future generations to learn the history of Woodhaven’s past, which include figures like Arthur Engels, a record-setting athlete from Woodhaven who was killed in World War I after receiving a bad leg wound.

“Today’s co-naming continues the tradition in this park of remembering our heroes,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley at a ceremony on Saturday. “We believe this will be a lasting reminder for all those who travel through the park of the sacrifices made to protect our country's freedom.”
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