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Pittsford War Memorial

This is a war memorial found in Pittsford, New York along the Erie Canal by Schoen Place.  The memorial says, “In Honor of All Pittsford Veterans.” This memorial is located near a popular spot along the Erie canal (which can just be seen in the background of the illustration) in downtown Pittsford.  The parades in Pittsford march down Main Street, on which the park is located.  Unfortunately, I have not attend any parades during Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or Independence Day, so I cannot comment as to whether the parades or related activities include this park.

As the illustration shows, the wars commemorated on this memorial are:

  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • Iraq War
Searching for all the conflicts and wars in which the United States had a role results in a much longer list.  However, below are some more major wars in which Pittsford might have had casualties.
  • American Revolutionary War
  • War of 1812
  • American Civil War
  • Gulf War

All of this goes to illustrate what Hess (2007) notes, “The process of commemoration, simply by what is or is not commemorated, is inherently ideological in its formation. Browne concludes, ‘As contested, public memory represents a site of competition, of voices strategically or tactically claiming access to the past’ (1993: 475).”

These wars are the ones Pittsford is laying claim to and honoring.

Therefore I am wondering if that means that our town has only lost people in five wars?  There were no casualties in any other war?  If so, we are fortunate.  Or does it mean that the people in Pittsford who worked to put this memorial up determined that those who died in these wars, or these wars beginning with WWI, are those who will get honored and memorialized?

It’s also notable that there is space left on this war memorial to (unfortunately) allow more names to be added of those from Pittsford who will give their lives in service to our county.  But again, this begs the questions of 1) is it only certain wars where those from Pittsford die get memorialized or, 2) is it any war where someone from Pittsford dies get memorialized.

 

Kristi

Comments

Erin
Reply

That is an interesting memorial! I appreciate your insight about leaving space for more names. It shows that our society doesn’t truly believe in the idea of peace. Unfortunately, it seems, war is inevitable in these modern times. Imagine if World War I was really “the war to end all wars”. So many lives would be saved, so much more progress could have been made. Good memorial observation!

Abel
Reply

You bring up some interesting questions in this specific case. Is there a criteria as to defining who deserves to be memorialized as a hero and who does not. Another interesting aspect is that of the blank spot left for future additions to the list. Peace, although is always mentioned as a goal, is hardly envisioned as a realistic ideal.

Benjamin
Reply

Maybe they could add more to to the memorial site to fit more in. A renovation or something to make its more accurate to this this time period.

Jessica
Reply

This is similar to my post. Along with the memorial there was a plaque that stated who from east rochester had served and died. I think for small town memorials this is a great way to remember those who served.

Claire
Reply

I like that this memorial serves multiple purposes in that it not only commemorates those who were lost, but it now serves as a place for their relatives and loved ones to come together as a community in Pittsford.

Charles
Reply

I like this picture. It shows people outside of Pittsfords that there are a lot of veterans, who are from Pittsfords, served different wars. I think that it is meaningful and heartfelt for the community because it puts the town in a good name.

Nick
Reply

I actually grew up around there and there is one parade that goes through there, memorial day I believe. You bring up a good point about who gets memorialized there. I don’t know the answer but I’m interested in looking it up.

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