A Street and an Opera to Honor Chinatown's Pvt. Danny Chen

Thursday, May 15, 2014


A stretch of Elizabeth Street in Chinatown will be renamed Private Danny Chen Way in honor of the 19-year-old Army private who committed suicide in Afghanistan in 2011 after his superiors bullied him.

Chen's suicide and the subsequent cases against eight soldiers for his death made national news and devastated the Chinatown community where he grew up.

For the past year, the New York Chapter of OCA โ€” an Asian-American advocacy organization โ€” has been working to get a street named in Chen's honor. In December the City Council voted to memorialize Chen on Elizabeth Street between Canal and Bayard streets.

The sign will be unveiled at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Chen's tragic story will also be remembered through a new opera opening next month at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Huang Ruo composed the music for An American Soldier. David Henry Hwang wrote the libretto.

The Washington National Opera will perform the work June 13 and 14. Hwang said he expects to eventually bring the opera to New York.


Julianne Welby


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