Bay Ridge

Army base renames street for Vietnam War hero

May 24, 2022 Theodore W. General
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The Fort Hamilton Army Base renamed its major transportation avenue in memory of 1st Lt. John E. Warren, Jr. on May 20. 

The avenue was previously named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who was an engineer at Fort Hamilton in the 1840s.

Warren, a platoon leader in Vietnam, died Jan. 14, 1969 when he used his body to shield his fellow soldiers from an enemy grenade. He was 22. His action saved three of his men from serious or fatal injury. By direction of the president, on Sept. 8, 1970, Warren was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty.

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At a ceremony at Fort Hamilton several years ago, Warren’s family was given Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals on his behalf.

The street sign for John Warren Avenue. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General

Warren was born and raised in Brooklyn, graduated from Eastern District H.S. and spent two years at Brooklyn College before he was inducted into the Army.

Col. Craig Martin, Fort Hamilton’s garrison commander, hosted the street-renaming ceremony, and Capt. Scott Norman, the post chaplain, gave the invocation. The NYC Joint Service Guard presented the colors as Dr. Antoinette Robertson from Medgar Evers College sang the national anthem.

During his remarks, Col. Martin recalled the famous line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar: “Men at some time are masters of their fates; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” He alluded to the fact that we are responsible for our own actions, but not fate.

Family and friends of 1st Lt. John Warren gather under the new street sign. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General

Guest speakers included Yvette K. Bourcicot, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs; Steve Castleton, aide to the secretary of the Army for New York South; James Hendon, NYC commissioner of veterans’ services; and Gloria Warren-Baskin, Lt. Warren’s sister. Castleton presented an Army challenge coin to Warren-Baskin and signs were formally unveiled at the corner of John Warren and White avenues.

Gloria Warren-Baskin speaks at the ceremony honoring her brother. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General
The NYC Joint Service Color Guard presents flags as Dr. Antoinette Robertson sings the national anthem. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General

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