Prospect Park West to Be Co-Named for a Fallen Soldier
In the Press
Later this year, one block of Prospect Park West may be getting a new name.
A City Council proposal aims to co-name a block of Prospect Park West between 14th Street and Bartel-Pritchard Square "LCpl. Julian T. Brennan, USMC Way," after Julian Brennan, a Marine and Park Slope resident who perished in 2009 while fighting in Afghanistan.
“He used to ride his bike from Brooklyn to Midtown where he worked for the Martha Stewart show,” said his father, Bill Brennan. “I always wanted a bike path named after him because he used to always do that.”
Julian, who joined the marines in 2007 at 23, died on Jan. 24, 2009, in an explosion at the end of a long patrol in the dangerous Farah Province.
“Julian was sort of intrigued by the personal challenge of the Marines, he joined as a response to 9/11 and living in New York. It was a mixture of things,” said Bill. “I was proud of him, but at the same time I wished he had chosen another way to serve the country other than being a soldier.”
He described his son as a peaceful young man and former Quaker who loved his neighborhood. He grew up on the southern edges of the neighborhood and after high school graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Midtown and spent four years working as an actor.
“He loved his country and expressed a deep empathy for the Afghan people. He grew up in South Park Slope and was an avid cyclist, and we wish to preserve the memory of this exemplary New Yorker for future generations by naming a beautiful South Park Slope block with a bike lane on it after him,” said Councilmember Brad Lander of Julian.
The City Council will vote on all street co-namings, including Julian Brennan’s, sometime this year, though in 2010 the vote did not take place until December. If passed, the street will be renamed “LCpl. Julian T. Brennan, USMC Way/Prospect Park West.”
Bill said that one of Julian’s favorite places was Prospect Park, where he trained for triathlons. On leave, he loved to hit up neighborhood staples like the former Magnolia, Applewood, Daisy’s Diner, Sidecar and the open mic night at Bar 4.
“It’s been difficult. You miss him every day. As a parent who survives your child I think you always feel guilty,” he said."But we love the idea of being able to walk up to the park and see our son’s name. We just feel very much support from the whole community.”
Photo Courtesy of Bill Brennan, via Park Slope Patch