In an effort to provide Addy with maximum smelling opportunities on our walks, I try not to walk the same route every day. One day on our way up the big hill to the park that we normally frequent, I decided to walk on the other side of the street and check out a small patch of trees and grass.
Hero Park is what it’s called and it’s not big–a small square, partially hidden by trees. The park itself is on a steep hill, so your calves definitely get a workout as you follow the path up the hill. I find the tranquility here a bit amusing, as it sits along one of the busiest roads in Staten Island, and yet–unless there’s honking or sirens wailing, you’d never know. Addy is happy to wander around, smelling the flowers, chasing birds, and I’m happy to sit on the bench and daydream a bit.
Honestly, until today the name of park never sunk in. I mean, I’ve walked by it hundreds of times but had you asked me yesterday the name of that park, you would have gotten a shrug followed by an “I dunno.” When I set out for our walk this afternoon, it was with the intention of finding a flying flag in honor of Memorial Day and I thought I’d cut across the park, taking a picture when we entered because, well it always makes me happy. As I snapped the picture, it made me even happier that on today, Memorial Day, I realized that my little gem of a park is, in fact, dedicated to our heros. I looked it up on the NYC Parks website, you know, just to make sure it wasn’t named after someone with the name Hero, and discovered that it was dedicated to the 144 soldiers from Staten Island who died in World War I.
Today we pay tribute to all of those who have served, helping to protect our freedoms–and a reminder that freedom is never free. So a thank you to everyone who has ever sacrificed and served–as well as a promise to be thankful for them not only today, but everyday.