By Mark Hallum
The Veteran’s Memorial Obelisk in Bayside, although an important piece of local history, now sits on the side of the road on Northern Boulevard and Clearview Expressway. Paul Di Benedetto, president of the Bayside Historical Society, said most people do not even know it is there. But an online petition has begun that will rally support for bringing the monument back to its original location at the LIRR station on Bell Boulevard.
The obelisk holds the names of veterans that were killed in WWI and WWII. The monument was moved in 1988 to protect it from graffiti artists who regularly vandalized it.
Di Benedetto, Gregg Sullivan from BaysideLiveTV and Fred Quinones have banded together to do what it takes return the obelisk back to the LIRR station.
“It’s honoring people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country,” di Benedetto said.
“They’re honored there, but the people of Bayside don’t even know about it. The whole point of having a monument is for people to look at it, and to see and to remember. It should be someplace public.”
The point of the petition is to build momentum to move the obelisk, which is in its early stage, said di Benedetto, who hopes to get civic leaders on board.
“I want to build a team where everybody says ‘yes, I want this, let’s get it done.’”
Di Benedetto said the monument dates to the 1930s, but was moved from the LIRR station to Golden Park before it was brought to where it sits today.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall