Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: October 13, 1996

Release #513-96

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2972or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2958


(Brooklyn, NY) Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today attended a parade and dedication ceremony for the Marine Major Eugene T. McCarthy Memorial, built to honor Major McCarthy and other New Yorkers who lost their lives in Operation Desert Storm. The Mayor was joined by Congressman Charles Shumer, State Senator Carl Kruger, Michael Handy, Director of the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs, members of the McCarthy family and the families of New Yorker soldiers killed in the Persian Gulf conflict.

"Major Eugene McCarthy represents the courage and gallantry that makes our nation the greatest in the world," Mayor Giuliani said. "We must never forget that everything we have and everything we are, we owe to the courageous men and women who won and defended our freedom and liberty. Today, we honor Eugene's courage and sacrifice, and the sacrifice of all New Yorkers who fell in the Persian Gulf by dedicating this monument in Major McCarthy Triangle. For generations to come, this monument will remind the City and the nation of our gratitude to Major Eugene T. McCarthy."

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Eugene T. McCarthy attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and after graduation became a Marine Aviator. After serving in the Marines, McCarthy joined the United States Drug Enforcement Administration where he aided our nation's efforts to locate and destroy South American drug crops. As tensions in the Persian Gulf grew, McCarthy and his Marine Corps reserve unit went into battle. In February 1991, McCarthy and his co-pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed during a rescue mission. Marine Major McCarthy is survived by his parents, Kathryn and Eugene, his sister, Ann and his brother, Dennis.

The monument, the first Gulf War memorial in the City of New York, is a rainbow granite obelisk split in two pieces, on top of a field of black granite. W.C. Maffei, the project's architect, designed the memorial to symbolize lives cut short on the battlefield.

For the past three years, the Fraser Civic Association and other area residents have sponsored a variety of events to raise funds for the monument. The community's efforts attracted the attention of the Army Corps of Engineers, Con Edison, McCarthy Pole and Bracci Fence who helped to construct the monument.

The monument also honors the memory of:
Staff Sgt. John Blessinger, Air Force Corp. Ismael Cotto, Jr., U.S. Marines
Capt. Mario Fajardo, U.S. ArmyCapt. Manuel Rivera, Jr. U.S. Marines
Warrant Officer John Curtain, U.S. Army Sgt. Pat Ortiz, U.S. Army
First Sgt. Joseph Murphy, U.S. ArmySP4 (Specialist) Luis Henry Garay, U.S. Army

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