Whiting Square Memorial Vandalized


The other morning we saw something that made our blood boil — we suspect you will feel the same way. We were driving around, taking some beautiful pictures of Woodhaven in the ice and snow, and we stopped off to take a picture of Whiting Square. Or, as many of you know it — The Rock.

This memorial is named for Lt. Clinton Whiting, who gave his life in the service of our country — he was killed in action far from home in 1918 — and he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for Heroism in Action a year later.

And this is how some ignoramus treated our memorial:

What kind of an animal defaces a memorial with a vulgarity?

Last year, we reported on the deplorable amounts of graffiti in Woodhaven — and for a while there, we were making moves to tackle the problem.   But — and I’ll take the blame for this — the effort kind of fell apart. We gathered a good team, but failed to follow through on their good work.

But that doesn’t mean we’ve conceded or admitted defeat. Graffiti, once again, will be an issue we’ll tackle in 2011.

We have to.

What sort of a community would we be if we let this go unanswered? What lesson do the children of Woodhaven learn when they that we allow this vile act of vandalism go unchecked

You know what they learn? They learn that it’s normal.

We have to change that perception. We’ll start by taking care of the memorial at Whiting Square (we’ll announce details on that soon).   But we need more community involvement to battle it properly.

Recently, we announced our intention to build up communications within Woodhaven via Block Captains. Read more about that here. As of right now, we have 22 Block Captains covering 34 blocks. In the last snowstorm we had, we heard from them all — and we called in the 2 blocks that still needed plowing. Here’s the point — we were able to ascertain the conditions of these blocks within an hour — and that information was processed directly to those who were able to resolve the issue.

Here are the blocks with captains — if your block is not represented, it is not getting this extra attention.

If you are interested in being a Block Captain, send an E-mail to info@woodhaven-nyc.org with your name, address and phone number.

What do you think? You think that perhaps we can somehow leverage this strategy and use it to combat graffiti? It would certainly make it easier to catalog where the graffiti is — to report it, get it cleaned up —

We’re not talking a tremendous amount of effort on your part — if there’s a storm you’ll get an E-mail, perhaps a phone call, and tell us how things look on your block. Maybe once a year we’ll ask you if there’s any graffiti on your block.

Minimal effort by a large number of people can achieve great things — but we need to sign up those people.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are a resident of Woodhaven. If you care about your community, sign up to be a Block Captain. Let’s not let animals like the one that defaced our memorial get away with crap like that.

Ed Wendell

President – WRBA


2 Responses to “Whiting Square Memorial Vandalized”

  1. Judy Close Says:

    I have long thought that the guys who do this (girls seem to mark up bathroom stalls to be funny) who walk around with backpacks, I believe, used to do this at home on walls, were never corrected for it, and also marked up their school desks and were never caught. Since they’re frustrated artists in their own minds, and don’t mind climbing high up (look at the train trestles, upper floors outside apartment windows, best of all, water towers like the one in Kew Gardens near Maple Grove Cemetery!), I propose that electeds find out if the bridge painters union/or billboard companies would be willing to take them on as apprentices. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s vandalism (they’ve marked up subway trains, and even have marked up trees in Forest Park, cars and trucks, and even brick apartment buildings and private homes). Just trying to channel the energies and bravado it takes to climb on top of all those things and paint. Plus they have youth, misguided or undirected as it may be. Some graffiti vandals are as old as well into their 20s. Here in Woodhaven, vandals repeatedly target the railroad trestle off 98th Street on Park Lane South; the concrete wall of that first house at foot of 98th St. & Park Lane South, with high stairs; the railroad trestle on Jamaica Avenue outside Dominick’s supermarket near 101st St; of course, Jamaica El, several rooftops visible from the el train along Jamaica Ave., meaning vandals are climbing up buildings, or hanging outside windows to spray paint; sometimes Forest Park Co-op brick buildings get targeted in warmer months, as kids go by from Forest Park; all the green mailboxes in area are regularly tagged. Here on service road, our bldg. porters regularly paint green over that.

  2. Memorial vandalized with graffiti | The Woodhaven Blog Says:

    […] was first reported on the Woodhaven Residents Association blog . It’s bad enough there is graffiti in the neighborhood, but graffiti on a memorial? And of […]

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