Memorial Day in Piermont, New York, the “Last Stop” for WW II soldiers

May 31, 2010 A*RT!? Happens

Last Stop USA Piermont NY

It’s Memorial Day and since I’m very proud to be American, I wanted to show my respect and thanks to those who fought and died for our freedom and for a great country with a short post about a touching memorial statue in historic Piermont, New York that I recently came across (with the help of my history buff husband).

When I was driving through Piermont I found this statue dedicated to the men who fought and died in WW II. The statue is called “Last Stop USA” and is appropriately placed in the last spot US soldiers would step foot on in the USA before embarking to Europe.

Off of the Piermont pier is where 40,000 US troops per month passed through to board ships headed ultimately for the shores of France, many of whom never came home.

Last Stop USA Piermont New York

During my recent visit to Normandy, France I got a chance to visit those shores, one of which being Omaha Beach (pictured below from my visit in April). I was sobered by my tour guide’s accounts of the tragedy that took place here and then grateful to see a little girl happily playing ball on the now peaceful shore. Isn’t that, after all, what these men were fighting for?
Omaha Beach Normandy France

The last line in the plaque reads “this plaque is dedicated to the honor of those who served and the sacred memory of those who never returned”

Last Stop USA Piermont NY

Last Stop USA Piermont NY

©2010 Danee Gilmartin All rights reserved

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  1. Doug 07.11.2013

    Very nice tribute to the”Last stop USA” monument. You might want to visit the Orangetown, NY, Municipal bldg. on Veterans Drive, off of Rt. 303., where a large photomural wall illustrates huge and dynamic presence of WW II’s Camp Shanks, the site from which the trained solders embarked for the Piermont pier, and thence to Europe and the D day invasion.

  2. wendi copeland 05.8.2012

    I am working on a “Last Stop USA” project while I am an artist in residence at The Art Students League of New York’s Vytlacil campus in Sparkill.
    I am very interested in learning more about the Last Stop USA and working with images of the past and present of the docks etc.
    We have an Open Studio event for the general public on Thursday May 24th of 2012 at the campus on 241 Kings Highway if you are interested in seeing the artwork and installations. It is from 5 to 7pm and I am in cabin #7. Wendi

    • MuseumChick 07.26.2012

      Hi Wendi- Thank you for the information.

  3. Philip Montesano, Jr 05.29.2011

    Hi, My father’s neighbor George Lynch and the Piermont VFW were instrumental in this project. The VFW also holds a Memorial Day bonfire at the end of the Piermont pier. There is another plaque in the center of the Piermont business district that commemorates the WWII service of Robert Gair Co employees.It is special to me since it contains the names of my father and two uncles (Philip, John & Joseph Montesano – all three sons of my grandparents Carmine and Christina). She was a Three Star Mother! All returned safely after serving in North Africa, Italy and Japan respectively.

    • Tom Sedlack 06.10.2012

      Hi Philip,
      I just read your article, and if I may correct a few of your statements. The fire at the end of the Piermont Pier, held each Memorial Day since 1987, is not a function of the VFW, but rather a gathering of veterans dedicated to preserving the memory of all those who gave their lives in service to our country. The “bonfire” is actually a “watch fire” begun by George Washington so that the scattered troops of the Revolutionary War could “find their way home.” As a veteran, I have returned to Piermont to help my fellow veterans build and light the watch fire each year. This year’s watch fire (2012) was dedicated to my father, former army sgt. Thomas “Bud” Sedlack. I plan on returning each Memorial Day for many years to come.

      Tom Sedlack
      Napa Valley, Ca.

  4. Brian Timmins 03.4.2011

    I live in South Devon, quite close to Slapton sands where a lot of training for the D Day landings took place, an old Sherman tank was recently hauled up and is now on the beach as a memorial. In various harbours there are memorials to the Troops of various nations, who departed our shores for France and ultimately the liberation of Europe, many of my neighbours and former neighbours have/had memories of US ,Canadian and British troops billeting with them in the lead up to D day, some very sad . As a former modern day soldier I appreciate what these guys were willing to give up for the freedom of strangers in strange lands and thank them all for there acts and deeds. May their sacrifices be rememberred for ever. RIP brave men and women.

    • MuseumChick 03.5.2011

      Hi Brian- Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. It is very respectable and humbling what soldiers then and now have given-up to aid people that they have never meet. And so important to have these memorials to keep their memory and the history alive.

  5. tony scott 05.31.2010

    Thanks for sharing this blog. You might want to visit Windermere Hotels located at the Lake District, UK. You'd love it there. They have a lot in store for history buffs and fanatics.