Each year on November 11th, veterans from all over New York City gather under the Eternal Light Flagstaff, located near the park’s 24th Street entrance, to begin their march up 5th Avenue for the Veteran’s Day Parade.
At the top of the towering 125-foot-tall metal flagstaff, visitors will see a star-shaped luminaire that is meant to stay forever lit in honor of American soldiers who fell during World War 1.
The flagstaff’s base consists of a massive stepped ornamental pedestal made of pink Milford Granite and an ornate bronze cap featuring garlands and ram’s heads. Carved into the four sides of the base are several written tributes to those who served during The Great War, and the names of battles fought in Belgium and France: The Somme, Ypres, the Lys, the Argonne, and Montdidier.
The Eternal Light Flagstaff was first switched on in 1923 as part of an Armistice Day celebration, and with a few exceptions, has been kept alight ever since. It remains one of the most meaningful landmarks in the country for New York City’s many Veterans.