9. Go to Central Park
Central Park was used in a variety of ways before, during and after World War I. According to Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War (Globe Pequot Press) and member of the World War I Centennial Committee for New York City, before America declared war on Germany, recruits and soldiers drilled on its fields. The park was also used for publicity and fundraising stunts. Inside the park you can visit a few monuments dedicated to those lost in World War I. One is a plaque dedicated to the memory of John Purroy Mitchel, a former mayor of New York who died in action. There is also the 107th Infantry Memorial, designed by sculptor Karl Illava. This sculpture features seven WWI foot soldiers (“doughboys”) in battle. It was donated by the Seventh Regiment New York 107th United Infantry Memorial Committee, and currently sits at the end of East 67th Street at Fifth Avenue. According to NYC Parks & Recreation, Illava, who was a sergeant with the 107th, used his own hands as models to create the soldiers’ hands.