McSorleys wishbones 5 22 1280WWI soldiers enjoyed a turkey dinner at McSorley's Old Ale House in Manhattan before departing for Europe, leaving their wishbones above the bar. Nearly two dozen remain today, a reminder of those who never returned.  

American soldiers killed in WWI remembered forever in NYC ale house 

By Kerry J. Byrne
via the Fox News web site

Every day is Memorial Day at McSorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan.

It has been for more than 100 years, courtesy of a haunting, dusty reminder of the last stateside meal enjoyed by young American men before they were killed in Europe in World War I.

The venerable New York City saloon has been slinging suds on East 7th Street in the East Village since 1854. It’s one of the oldest bars in the Big Apple.

It's also now a tourist attraction beloved for its sawdust-covered floor, antiquated 19th-century ambiance and stubbornly limited drink options. Only light beer and dark beer are available — and on draft only.

Amid the bonhomie of a nostalgic neighborhood beer joint, McSorley’s quietly displays a haunting tribute to American doughboys whose wish for safe return from the battlefields of World War I was never granted.

"The Great War" exploded in Europe in 1914. The United States joined in 1917 and quickly hastened the defeat of Germany and its Central Power allies in 1918.

"As people were being drafted, McSorley’s would treat the guys who were regular customers to a turkey dinner" before they departed for Europe, longtime barkeep Steven "Pepe" Zwaryczuk explained to Fox News Digital this week. 

"After the dinner, they would take the wishbone and hang it on this fixture," he said, pointing to a pair of light bulbs above the NYC bar.

The bulbs are joined by a connecting pipe, about 2 feet long, that makes a perfect hook upon which to hang a turkey wishbone. 

Victorious soldiers and sailors found their way back to the neighborhood after the armistice ending the war was signed on Nov. 11, 1918.

These service members would, according to pub legend, remove a wishbone as a token of their safe return — and break it with the bartender.

Read the entire article on the Fox News web site.

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