May 25, 2012, marked the 65th
anniversary of the dedication of the Richard M. Kemper Park, a
World War II memorial on the grounds of Mamaroneck High School.
The Adolph Kemper family donated the Park to the Mamaroneck
School District in loving memory of Lt. Richard Kemper who was
killed in action in Normandy, August 6, 1944.
During World War II, it was
customary throughout America to hang Blue Star Banners in the
windows of the homes of those serving in the armed forces. It
was not unusual to see banners with more than one Blue Star—one
for each person in the service. In the event an individual made
the supreme sacrifice, his or her Blue Star was replaced with a
There are 101 names of Gold Star
honorees on the granite monument at the center of the Memorial
Park. To honor these individuals, the Larchmont Historical
Society, the Mamaroneck Historical Society, American Legion Post
90 (Mamaroneck), American Legion Post 347 (Larchmont), the
Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Kemper Memorial Park
Preservation Fund are jointly sponsoring a commemorative
project. Gold star placards (9” x 15”) have been prepared to
present to the relatives of each of one of these heroes and to
the current residents of the homes where the 101 once lived. They
are also being displayed at local memorials to the 101. The
placards are designed to be placed in a window, on a wall or in
At 155 Beach Avenue, the former
home of Richard Kemper, a Gold Star placard is on display.
Angelo Mancino, the current owner, says he was very proud when
he heard that his home had once been the Kemper family home.
When he was contacted about the Gold Star placard project,
background information about Richard Kemper and his death was
included and the two Mancino boys, 12 year old Michael and 9
year old Matthew, pored over the newspaper articles and
clippings. They were fascinated and interested by the story--so
much so that the Mancinos decided to invite Jean Kemper Hoffman
and her family to visit their home.
“We are a very patriotic family and
we treated Mrs. Hoffman like a visiting dignitary”, states Mr.
Mancino. Jean was thrilled to be allowed this opportunity to see
again the home where she grew up and was married. She even
brought her wedding photos (one of which included the famous
entertainer Eddie Cantor, who served as Best Man). The screened
in porch was her father, Adolph’s, very special place and she
was delighted to revisit her old bedroom, now Michael’s bedroom.
155 Beach Avenue will always hold lovely memories for her.
Mr. Mancino would like to keep the
Gold Star placard on display as long as possible. His family has
great respect for those who serve in the armed forces and a
distant cousin is now on his third tour in Iraq. Being
participants in this project is meaningful to them all.
It is important to remember that
the individuals honored at the Richard Kemper Park were our
neighbors. They attended our schools and houses of worship,
played in our parks, shopped in our stores and enjoyed our
you travel around the Larchmont-Mamaroneck area, please note
these tributes to “Our 101” and to our community’s history. If
you are related to one of them or the current resident of a
former home and are interested in displaying a Gold Star placard
or if you have any questions, please contact Jan Northrup at