YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Last week, the town of Yorktown held a flag lowering ceremony in front of town hall in preparation for the removal of the flagpole and war monuments, which will make way for four new handicapped parking spaces.
The flagpole and war monuments will be relocated into an armed services “ring of honor” in nearby Patriot Park. Supervisor Michael Grace said the 50-foot flagpole will be installed in the center of the turntable in the park. Additionally, he said, Yorktown is ordering nine new flagpoles—six for the branches of the military in Patriot Park and three for town hall. At town hall, a 30-foot pole will carry the American flag and the prisoner of war flag; and two 25-foot poles will separately carry the state and town flags.
The three war monuments previously in front of town hall are stones bearing plaques honoring Yorktown residents who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
At the Sept. 19 town board meeting, the board awarded separate bids to remove the flagpole ($3,850) and the three monuments ($5,250). The town board also planned on relocating the cherry trees in front of town hall, but Grace said the cost estimate of $4,000 was too high. Instead, he said, the trees will be destroyed.
The relocation of the flagpole and war monuments was precipitated by a December 2016 lawsuit by Westchester Disabled on the Move, a Yonkers-based nonprofit organization. It claimed town hall was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act because it had insufficient handicapped parking spaces. Four new handicapped spaces will be created where the flagpole, war monuments and cherry trees used to be.
The flag lowering ceremony on Friday, Sept. 29, was conducted by American Legion Post 1009.