Calico Hill Veterans Memorial
Calico Hill Veterans Memorial, located on a wooded hilltop on West Railroad Avenue, features monuments dedicated to the brave service of area veterans. Significant renovations will be made to Calico Hill during 2020, funded with a $125,000 NYS grant secured by Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski.
THE HISTORY OF CALICO HILL
Calico Hill was purchased by the First Presbyterian Church of Haverstraw in 1789; members built a church and established a cemetery on the site. According to Marianne Leese, Senior Historian at The Historical Society of Rockland County, “The original wooden church burned down and was replaced by a brick edifice in 1849.” Ms. Leese said that the second church was also destroyed by fire.
HOW CALICO HILL GOT ITS NAME
The name “Calico Hill” came from a neighboring factory established by John Glass in 1828 for printing calico cloth. Glass died in 1831 in a steamboat explosion at Grassy Point, just as his first load of goods was about to be shipped to New York City.
RENOVATIONS AT CALICO HILL
Calico Hill fell into disrepair over time. Approximately twenty-five years ago, the Park was renovated. Since then, volunteers from American Legion Leo Laders Post 130 have dedicated their time, assisted by Village DPW staff, to maintain Calico Hill.
These efforts gained increased significance in 2002 after a fire destroyed the American Legion’s building on Railroad Avenue. Commander of the Leo Laders Post 130 Don Joachim indicated that one of the priceless items lost in the fire was the Post Everlasting, a plaque with the names of deceased members thanking them for their contribution and service to our Country, community and Post. Rather than creating a replacement plaque for the Post’s new home in Thiells, Joachim said “Leo Laders Post 130 decided to make Calico Hill Veterans Memorial their Post Everlasting.”
CALICO HILL – A PLACE FOR REFLECTION
Calico Hill Veterans Memorial is adorned with flag posts lining fences that include the names of area residents who have served in the military. Other features include a M101A1 Howitzer tank from World War II and monuments honoring those who served in the Persian Gulf Wars; the Lebanon, Grenada and Panama conflicts; World War I; World War II; the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Perhaps the most somber tribute is an empty chair honoring the nation’s POWs and MIAs. Benches and a gazebo make peaceful places for visitors to pause and reflect.
SPECIAL EVENTS AT CALICO HILL
Leo Laders Post 130 hosts ceremonies at Calico Hill Memorial Park on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Commander Joachim notes the difference between the two holidays: “Veterans Day is a day of celebration; we honor all service. Memorial Day is purely a day of recognition and mourning for our deceased veterans.”
The annual Memorial Day ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. on the last Monday in May. It is a brief ceremony, approximately 12 minutes long. The event features "Taps" and a 21 Gun Salute by the Honor Guard.
The annual Veterans Day Ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, and lasts approximately one hour. This year's event features retired United States Air Force Major Sharon Bailey, remarks from Post officers and a firing squad salute.
CALICO HILL VETERANS MEMORIAL
31 West Railroad Avenue
Garnerville, NY 10923
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Additional photos are available in the event gallery.