May 13, 2017 -- The eight oak trees that line the southern edge of Clifton Park have been designated heritage trees, said Mayor Edward Lieberman at last Tuesday evening's Village Board meeting. Each of the oaks was planted to pay tribute to one of the eight Sea Cliff residents who made the ultimate sacrifice during the United States involvement in the First World War. The large memorial rock situated in front of the trees is adorned with a bronze plaque that identifies all Sea Cliffians who participated during the final year and a half of the war that "saved the world from Prussianism (1914-1918)" and denotes those who lost their lives in the conflict with a star.
The heritage tree designation is given, upon nomination by a resident, to trees that have a special historical significance or are unique because of their particular species, age, or size. The tree has the same protection as any tree over 20 inches in diameter at chest height -- that is, a permit is needed for its removal.
Resident Phil Como said at Tuesday's meeting that the Clifton Park memorial rock was placed there and the eight trees planted in the spring of 1919. Thousands of residents participated in the dedication of the memorial on September 6, 1919 which included a parade, beginning at Prospect where Memorial Park is today and concluding at Clifton Park.
Mr. Como continued that the James F. Brengel American Legion Post, of which he serves as Commander, is planning a centennial commeroration of that event for 2019.
This coming Memorial Day, Monday May 29th, a parade following a similar route will be held in tribute to all Americans who have given the last full measure of devotion in service to this country.
"It's an important day for this village and it's an important day for this country," said Mayor Ed Lieberman at Tuesday's meeting.
"We should always be reminded of the extreme sacrifice that the men and women of this country have made," he continued. "This is a very important time for our country and this is a very important thing that we should always be reminded of and not take lightly."
The eight Sea Cliff residents whose lives were sacrificed in the First World War were: James F. Brengel; Dennis P. Dowd Jr.; Richard E. Dreyer; Ferdinand J. Frerichs, Jr.; Harry Mutner; Conrad V. Schierhorst; Walter Soder; Arthur Wolfle.
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