Following a budget presentation Wednesday during the Briarcliff Manor board of trustees meeting, Village Manager Philip Zegarelli changed the tone briefly to share a bit of village history with the trustees and mayor.
"One hundred and fifty years tomorrow is the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack," he revealed.
It's little known, Zegarelli said, that at the front lines of this 1862 Civil War naval battle was a man who "was born and raised in what was then called Sparta in the Town of Mount Pleasant."
This area, he said, "is now literally across the street on the Scarborough Road side from [Church] in the Village of Briarcliff Manor."
Then Lieutenant John Worden was the commanding officer of the USS Monitor at the time of the battle that left him partially blind and deaf, according to Zegarelli.
"If you ever see the pictures, the [ships] were literally...only a few feet apart," he described. "I can just imagine the pounding that was going on."
Worden continued up through the naval ranks as the war and his career progressed, eventually serving as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and earning the title of rear admiral, according to Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War's website.
Today, a plaque on Route 9 near Scarborough Presbyterian Church commemorates Worden, while Admiral Wordens Lane in the village is named after him.
According to a report this week by The Washington Post, the USS Monitor, "The Monitor sank in a gale on Dec. 31, 1862. Most of the 63 crewmen escaped."
While 16 men were reported dead, two sets of remains were discovered aboard the sunken ship, which were publicly revealed on Tuesday of this week.
To pay tribute to Briarcliff Manor's Worden, who is now buried in Pawling, Zegarelli personally presented a "limited edition" picture of the famous Civil War battle between the Monitor and Merrimack (also known as CSS Virginia) for which Worden is known.
Zegarelli said he hopes the picture will eventually be on display on a blank wall in the village's board/courtroom at "to commemorate I think a very important individual that was born and raised in what today is Briarcliff."