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.
The 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.