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The Brookline Monument, better known as "The Cannon" has been a mainstay on Brookline Boulevard for many years, dating back to The memorial sits on the small island situated between Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues. The cannon, a World War I artillery piece, stands quiet watch over the Commerical District and honors the legacy of Brookline's fighting men and women in arms.
At the entrance to the park is a fine pink granite Memorial Bench with two bronze Mrmorial Plaques, one "In Memory of All American Veterans" and the other honoring "The Veterans of Brookline," our military men and women that have served in the various conflicts from World War I through the present-day War on Terror in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park in the s. The original white marble Memorial Bench is partially visible. The park contains a few other park benches, a flag pole and a flower garden. The parade is preceeded by a somber ceremony in honor of those who fell in battle. The Cannon is one of the most recognizable features on Brookline Boulevard, and has always been a favorite amongst the youngsters who like to climb aboard and turn the wheels.
For decades, children have been fascinated by the Cannon at Veteran's Memorial Park. Many Brookline residents and casual passers-by, however, are unaware of the true significance of this small park, and the sacrifices made by Brookliners over the past century in the service of our country. It is in their honor that this park exists, and it is our duty to tell that tale on this webpage, thus keeping their stories, and memories, alive in our hearts and minds.
In , when the Brookline section of the former West Liberty Borough was undergoing the transformation from a rural farming district into a modern residential and commercial community, the Freehold Real Estate Company established a small sales office on the triangle. The original one-room wooden shack was replaced by a two-room brick building in The office was a busy place for many years as the community grew.
As for ownership of the triangle, Freehold owned the larger share of the property, and the City of Pittsburgh owned the rest, located near the tip of the triangle that pointed in the direction of the developing Brookline Boulevard Commercial district. Then, in , as a result of the financial crisis caused by the onset of the Great Depression, the Freehold Office in Brookline was closed. The old Freehold office was razed in the fall of and a retaining wall built along the Chelton Avenue side to level the land.
Despite the struggling economy, the s were a time of great change in Brookline. The Joint Civic Committee was busy working on many initiatives to help modernize and improve the community. On April 18, , James McGaffin sold his portion of the triangle to the city for the purpose of establishing a permanent memorial. On July 4, , before the start of the annual Independence Day Parade, members of Brookline's American Legion Post , formed just two months prior to that in May , dedicated a white marble Memorial Bench.
Bolted to the bench was the original bronze Memorial Tablet originally dedicated in Soon afterwards, The United States Department of the Interior granted the American Legion Post the loan of a government surplus artillery piece to be placed on the triangle as another local monument to Brookline Veteran's. It was placed on a concrete pad with the gun barrel facing towards the Commercial District. Other additions to the Veteran's Memorial continued in the years that followed.
Laitta, dedicated a flag pole. In preparation for Memorial Day, , the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works laid a concrete pad and erected metal fencing around the memorial, as well as providing new landscaping and other improvements. The present-day Cannon is actually the second rendition of the monument. The granite memorial bench itself is also a replacement. The original cannon was a surplus World War I American field artillery piece.
It's official designation was 4. An American howitzer, the 4. The original howitzer, dedicated in , stood for eight years, until another global conflict called it back into service. This time, the cannon was not headed for the front lines in Europe. It was, instead, heading to Jones and Laughlin Steel. American Legion Post members stand by Brookline's original Cannon. The cannon was inscribed "To Japan via U. Armed Forces. Brookline's original Cannon being hauled away for scrap metal on October 13, The current model Schneider mm Howitzer was installed and the park re-dedicated in The aging white marble Veteran's memorial bench was replaced with the present-day polished pink granite and bronze memorial bench in , a few years after the conclusion of the first Persian Gulf War.
Brookline's snow-covered cannon on December 29, Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park has always been popular gathering place. Several generations of Brookliners have uttered the words, "I'll meet you at the cannon. Sometimes the park benches are just a nice place to sit down and enjoy a relaxing moment, either alone or with friends.
For the three gentlemen captured in this Robert Daley print, entitled "Old Soldiers," this meeting at the park was something of a casual reunion of Veteran's. On a crisp fall morning, the old soldiers have gathered near the cannon to chat about the day's events. The average pedestrian would pass them by without much thought, not realizing what sacrifices these brave men had made so many years ago on the battlefields of far away places.
They had been to hell and back, an experience that only a veteran can understand. They share a common bond, one that is forged in the cauldron of war. These fine men were part of our Greatest Generation and oh, what stories they could tell. On April 27, , new flags were installed at the Brookline Veteran's Park. McKeever, a U. Additional support was provided by Nathan Mallory, former Chamber of Commerce President, curator of the memorial grounds.
The Community of Brookline has always been supportive of our proud veterans, who have served our country over the years with dedication and devotion. Brookline also honors the sacrifices of our young men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in times of war, and supports the ongoing efforts of veteran's organizations to account for those soldiers who remain unaccounted for, still listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. On July 8, , the calm summer morning was interrupted with the sudden crash of an out-of-control PAT bus into the Brookline Veteran's Memorial.
The bus didn't just wreck into the memorial, it drove right through it, then went over the embankment and smashed into the wall and railing across the street on Chelton Avenue. The bus had made its' usual left turn off of Queensboro Avenue and then lost control. It continued into a full U-turn, collided with two parked cars then barreled through the memorial, hitting the year old Cannon and dragging it along until coming to a complete stop.
By the grace of God, no one was in the normally busy park at the time, and there were no serious injuries to report among the passengers on the bus. When the wild ride ended, it appeared that the bus actually faired worse than the vintage French-built howitzer, which sustained only minor damage. In addition to the cannon, other damage in the park included a couple crushed benches and a fence which was mangled and torn from its' foundation.
Once police and paramedics cleared the area and the chaos died down, a crew from McGann and Chester loaded the wounded cannon onto a flatbed and delivered it to the Port Authority garage, where repairs could be made. It took a while to negotiate the bureaucratic red tape to determine how to proceed with the cannon repairs.
Still the property of the Department of the Interior, special care had to be taken during its' restoration to meet their strict guidelines and procedures. By October, the Port Authority had made good on it's promise to repair the iconic Brookline landmark, and on the fifth of that month, a PAT maintenance crew returned the cannon to the Veteran's Memorial and placed it back on it's concrete pad. The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works had already repaired the benches and fencing.
To the astonishment of Brookline residents, the cannon looked brand new. The restoration went much better than expected. Years of rust, weathering and neglect were repaired. New tires were installed and the howitzer was painted in traditional Army green. For all intents and purposes it looked brand new! It is amazing how some things work out. For several years a coalition of concerned veterans and citizens had been trying to get the cannon restored.
Their efforts were always thwarted by government red tape and other frustrations. In the end, it took a near tragedy to provide the urgency and lifting of restrictions necessary to effect the proper repairs and ensure that this community landmark, first brought to Brookline in , is now in a condition to last another years. It was a chaotic scene as the bus smashed through the small park and came to rest on Chelton Street. The Cannon's tow hook and recoil brace got lodged in the bus' window frame and was pulled along.
The park fence and benches were mangled by the out-of-control vehicle as it smashed it's way through. McGann and Chester were called to remove the cannon and bus and take them to a Port Authority repair facility. The park looked a bit out-of-sorts for a couple months while repairs were being made. The damaged Cannon at the Port Authority maintenance yard awaiting restoration.
In early October the restored cannon was ready to be returned to it's location in the park. After three months away from home, Brookline's cannon is back where it belongs, honoring our local veterans. Brookline's historic landmark French Model Schneider mm Howitzer hasn't looked this good in years. The event begins at the Brookline Veterans Memorial with the opening ceremony.
The parade then follows a 2. The procession ends at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, where a closing ceremony is held. The parade is a fun, yet somber event honoring local soldiers who gave their lives in the service of our country. Frank F. At the Memorial Day Parade in , I was struck by the fact that nobody could recite the names of Brookline's fallen heroes, those whose sacrifice was being celebrated that day. It seemed so wrong that our proud community, unlike others like Beechview, Carrick, Dormont and Mount Lebanon, had no record of the native sons that died in war.
Brookliners gather at the Veteran's Memorial for the Memorial Day ceremony before the parade in May With this in mind, Doug Brendel and myself took it upon ourselves to research this topic and learn the names. Along with these fifty-six brave souls, we also learned of many Brookliners who suffered wounds and many others who were held as Prisoner of War. By the time of the Memorial Day Parade of , it was with pride that we could present the names listed below in the casualty section of this webpage.
These are the names of those that are celebrated on Memorial Day, and may their sacrifices never be forgotten by the generations of Brookliners who live under the blanket of freedom they helped to provide.
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Natalie Jew , Regulars Editor March 15, Domestic violence is a prevalent issue in Brookline.
Edward Devotion House [ Editor's Note: John Devotion, to give him twelve pounds currant money of New England, paid quarterly, and the town to pay for his diet, also allow him twenty pounds to be paid by the town for the keep of his horse.
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Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. A fascinating conversation about the restaurants and delis that shaped Jewish Brookline with The Jews of Boston co-authors Dr. Jonathan Sarna and Dr. Ellen Smith and Dr. Kitchen Explorations is an ongoing JArts series exploring the intersection of history, cuisine, neighborhood transitions and identity.
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The Short Version: This independently operated, not-for-profit theater treats audiences to an old-school movie-going experience. From silent films to sing-along flicks, these movies represent the best of the best in every genre imaginable. If you want to up the quality of your dates, you can go to the Coolidge and get tickets to a romantic or thought-provoking screening in the heart of New England. In , when locals heard about the plans to remodel an old church into a movie palace, some worried about the future of the town. They equated movie theaters with licentious behavior and campaigned against its construction. The Coolidge Corner Theatre shows independent films, documentaries, and cult classics. The Coolidge soon became a favorite haunt for movie buffs in town. When there was talk of the owners closing its doors in , so many people rallied behind the movie theater that the city created an independent not-for-profit group to save and preserve the Coolidge for generations to come.
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The Brookline Monument, better known as "The Cannon" has been a mainstay on Brookline Boulevard for many years, dating back to The memorial sits on the small island situated between Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues. The cannon, a World War I artillery piece, stands quiet watch over the Commerical District and honors the legacy of Brookline's fighting men and women in arms. At the entrance to the park is a fine pink granite Memorial Bench with two bronze Mrmorial Plaques, one "In Memory of All American Veterans" and the other honoring "The Veterans of Brookline," our military men and women that have served in the various conflicts from World War I through the present-day War on Terror in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park in the s. The original white marble Memorial Bench is partially visible. The park contains a few other park benches, a flag pole and a flower garden. The parade is preceeded by a somber ceremony in honor of those who fell in battle. The Cannon is one of the most recognizable features on Brookline Boulevard, and has always been a favorite amongst the youngsters who like to climb aboard and turn the wheels. For decades, children have been fascinated by the Cannon at Veteran's Memorial Park. Many Brookline residents and casual passers-by, however, are unaware of the true significance of this small park, and the sacrifices made by Brookliners over the past century in the service of our country. It is in their honor that this park exists, and it is our duty to tell that tale on this webpage, thus keeping their stories, and memories, alive in our hearts and minds.
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