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Thomas Noonan Playground Officially Reopens, Tribute Paid to Veterans

Mike Smith, a Vietnam vet and head of VFW 2813 in Sunnyside

Mike Smith, a Vietnam vet and head of the VFW 2813 in Sunnyside

April 14, 2015 By Christian Murray

The official ribbon cutting at the newly revamped Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Playground took place today with politicians, war veterans and children in attendance.

The playground, which reopened last week, underwent a $2 million upgrade that features new play equipment (see previous coverage)—as well as two monuments placed in honor of the men from Sunnyside who were killed in Vietnam.

A granite memorial was added to the base of the playground’s flagpole in recognition of Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan Jr. who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for rescuing soldiers in the face of danger-leading to his death.

“There is a very special monument to Lance Corporal Noonan and we wanted to make sure that when children come to the park that they know it was named after someone very special,” Van Bramer said, adding that he gave up his life for the country.

corporalThe playground also includes a plaque honoring four other local veterans from the neighborhood who also died in Vietnam

The upgrade to the play area features separate equipment for toddlers (2-5 year olds) and older children (5-12 year olds); it incorporates more swing sets; and includes a new “Rainbow” spray shower which the park is best known for.

As part of the project, additional greenery has been added to the playground–along Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street.

The renovations were completed two months ahead of schedule.

“Between new plantings, additional play equipment, a new and improved Rainbow sprinkler as well as a one-of-a-kind historic memorial for our local veterans, we have solidified Noonan Playground as one of the borough’s top destinations to spend an afternoon with the family,” Van Bramer said.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said the playground also represents an escape from city life that provides local children with the open space they desperately need. 


Previous Coverage:

Thomas P Noonan Playground to open Tuesday two months ahead of schedule

Veterans celebrate Vietnam plaque which will be part of Thomas P Noonan Playground revamp

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The Rope

God bless the brave few who served – and in some cases gave their lives – as L/Cpl Noonan did, so that Rikki and all the other dopes can comment their nonsense.
Anthony – you are very right, a disproportionately high number of Irish and Italian American Catholics died serving this great land. Look it up

Anthony Blackwood

another brave american of Irish descent that has fought for his country proudly.

The Rope

We’re talking about those who served in THIS country. The USA.

“Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor awarded as of September 17, 2009,[1] an estimated 2,018 have been awarded to Irish-American recipients, more than twice the number awarded any other ethnic group;[2][3] 257 Irish-born Americans have received the Medal of Honor[4][5] which represents more than half of foreign-born MOH recipients.[6] A monument to these Irish-born Medal of Honor winners is located at Valley Forge’s Medal of Honor Grove.[7] The first Irish American to receive the Medal was Michael Madden, who received it for his actions in the American Civil War.”


So glad to see this park still so utilized .. I started playing there with my sister 73 years ago .. Lots of fun over the years.
This is a good thing for Sunnyside ….

Celtic Bark

Can we please stop having senseless wars of aggression that only benefit the corporate defense contractors so we don’t have to lose any more decent and brave young men like Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Imagine how much better this neighborhood, this country and world would have been if Corporal Noonan had lived a full life instead of losing it in that idiotic Vietnam war.


I read somewhere that there were an unusually high percentage of soldiers from Woodside/Sunnyside that were killed in action, more than any other neighborhood in America.


I knew it would happen, some douche would have to come in and make this about their personal politics. “Wars of Aggression” what a jackass.


The American Revolution, The War of 1812, the US Civil War, WW2, these were hardly “wars of aggression on the part of the USA” unless you’re Jeff Davis.

Celtic Bark

I was thinking more of all the undeclared and unjustified wars since WW2.

El loco

As obnoxious as Celtic Bark usually is all of these wars involved economics. Read history. But as usual it is the common man who pays.


1,700 New York City residents killed while seeing action in the Vietnam War between 1962 — when the first United States ground troops were introduced — and 1975. “The largest single number [of the dead] came from Woodside and Sunnyside, Queens,” committee Chair John Garvey said. “Why those two neighborhoods? Because a lot of those guys enlisted. So when people ask me why we bother, I say, ‘Lest we forget.’ They paid a terrible price.”


I’m from the old school….. what if they gave a war and nobody came………

the only ones i feel sorry for are those who were drafted against their will……volunteers know what they are getting into….and know the risks


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