YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown police officer Michael Kahn is $50,000 closer to realizing his goal of building a life-size Revolutionary War monument in Downing Park thanks to a state-funded grant that was presented Tuesday.
Kahn, who is also a member of the Yorktown Historical Society, is hoping to raise $300,000 for the construction of the monument to commemorate the Battle of Pines Bridge. Current donations now total around $80,000, which will be represented on a thermometer on the park grounds facing Route 202.
“This project is very near and dear to my heart and we’re getting there,” Kahn said after receiving a giant ceremonial check from State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson). “Every little donation counts.”
The nearly eight-foot-tall monument would face the Presbyterian Church and cemetery from the park. The remains of Col. Christopher Greene, one of 38 soldiers killed in the May 14, 1781 battle, are interred at the cemetery.
Greene's regiment defended the present-day Yorktown Heights against a New York loyalist unit known as the "Refugees." Kahn called Greene “an unsung hero of our past and overlooked Founding Father.”
The statue will have three soldiers of different ethnic backgrounds fighting side-by-side in the battle. It will feature an African American soldier, an American Indian solider and a European American soldier.
The Historical Society is hoping to build the statue by May 2014, but will first need to raise $300,000. One of its fundraising efforts is selling bricks for a pathway that will lead to the monument. Bricks can be purchased online.
Once erected, Kahn believes the statue will become a major tourist attraction for Yorktown. The officer also regularly maintains a Facebook group in support of the project.
The Yorktown Historical Society was formed in 1956 under former Supervisor John Downing. Two years later, Westchester County donated 25 acres to Yorktown that became Downing Park. In 1963, the town purchased additional land to extend the park.