Kimlau War Memorial🙏🏼First Landmark Recognizing Chinese American history

A Landmark for a Landmark

Kimlau War Memorial

Kamlau Kim Lao (Liu Jin) Monument Square is located in New York’s Chinatown and the Rumsey fruit Plaza , 1961 by the American Legion 1291 Branch ( American Legion, Lt. BR Kimlau Post 1291 built). It pays tribute to the soldiers of Chinese descent who died in the war to serve the country. This granite arch monument was designed by architect Poy Gum Lee. This is a modern design of a traditional ceremonial arch. It is , a second lieutenant of the U.S. Army Air Corps Benjamin Ralph Kimlau named after , who used to be Chinatown. The residents of the city were shot down and sacrificed during World War II in 1944.

And Lin Shiguo was named after American Revolution the British before the Prime Minister William Pitt , the first Earl of Chatham. Lower East Side was Pitt Street in the also named after him, and Park Row was once named Chatham Street .

Until around 1820, Lin Shiguo served as a large open-air commodity and livestock market, mainly a horse market. In the mid-nineteenth century, it became a hub for tattoo shops, cheap hotels and bars, and was part of the Five Points District. In the 20th century, the region changed after the Great Depression and the Prohibition Movement.

The Kimlau Memorial Arch was erected by the American Veterans Association in 1962 to commemorate Second World in during the War Papua New Guinea the who died Chinese American Army Air Force officer . The 26-year-old pilot Benjamin Ralph · Lieutenant ( Benjamin Ralph Kimlau Benjamin Ralph Kimlau ). There are calligraphy by the famous Chinese calligrapher and poet Yu Youren on the archway. There is also a statue of Lin Zexu on the square.

The Kimlau War Memorial located in Kimlau Square in Manhattan’s Chinatown was approved and designated a landmark by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission this week. This is the first landmark recognizing Chinese American history in New York.

The monument was designed by architect Poy Gum Lee , who combined traditional Chinese design with streamlined modern aesthetics. It was proudly dedicated on April 28, 1962. It is the US Legion Lieutenant BR Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291. Headquartered on Canal Street. The Post has more than 450 members who served in World War II. This memorial is to commemorate the Chinese Americans who lost their lives in the military.

The Post had over 450 members who served in World War II and the monument honored Chinese Americans who lost their lives in military service. Over 20,000 or 1 in 5 Chinese men and women living in the US at that time served proudly during WWII despite The Chinese Exclusion Act which denied immigration and citizenship rights for people of Chinese descent until 1944. Sadly, most of the WWII veterans have passed, but in 2018, Congress unanimously approved and President Trump signed the law issuing a Congressional Gold Medal to honor Chinese Americans WWII Veterans. Not to be forgotten, however, are the Chinese Americans who have served and lost their lives in the US military since the War of 1812, including The Civil War, World War I, The Korean War, Vietnam War and conflicts to this day.

The Monument and the Post is named after Second Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau who was born in Concord, Massachusetts and moved to New York when he was 14. He attended Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and the Pennsylvania Military College, now the US Army War College. In the Army he transferred from the Field Artillery Division to the Army Air Force where he attended flight school and became a bomber pilot. During a mission to bomb the Japanese rear line at Los Negros Island next to New Guinea he and four other pilots were shot down. Their unit, the 380th Bombardment Group earned two Presidential Citations.

Members of the American Legion in Chinatown were truly part of the Greatest Generation, from members such as Peter Woo who established the iconic building headquarters on Canal Street to their volunteer leadership in community service way before any city agencies offered any help. Currently, for example, Past Commander Tony Chuy a master martial artist is teaching free self-defense classes for the community in light of the attacks against Asian Americans. Current Commander Honorable Judge Randall Eng, Adjutant Gabe Mui and former National Commander Fang A. Wong testified at the Landmarks Preservation hearing along with Sons of American Legion Commander David Lee and LAANY Board Member Shirley Ng to help get this passed.

To this day the monument serves as a place for several ceremonies annually honoring our veterans and their service. It also serves as a memorial and an important reminder that Asian Americans are Very American not only giving their time and money but their lives as well for the country they love.

From 1962 to 2021

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