Thanks to the big-heartedness of many, enough funds have been raised to build a veterans' memorial in Palmerton.

At present, $168,909 has been raised for the memorial, according to Joe Uhnak, first vice commander, Palmerton United Veteran's Organization.

"We've reached our goal," Uhnak said. "We're very grateful to the people of the Palmerton Area School District."

George H. Duell Jr., a United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Pennsylvania, complimented all who contributed toward the cause.

"The generosity has been unbelievable," Duell said. "This is something the people wanted."

Uhnak said any additional donations the PUVO receives will be used toward the maintenance and upkeep of the memorial.

The PUVO and the borough plan to build the memorial in the borough park as a tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and to those who served to preserve our freedom.

It will be located on a section of land 40 feet by 60 feet in size in the lower southwest corner of the borough park, where the present flagpole is situated, and will include a list of all veterans' names on granite monuments from all time periods of service.

The memorial will include names of veterans from the American Revolutionary era to the present, a span of over 230 years, who either entered the service while a resident of the Palmerton area, or who have lived in the area at least half of their adult life. Over 3,500 names will be put onto the granite stones.

To qualify, veterans need not have seen action in wartime. Peacetime veterans will also be honored.

The centerpiece is a sculpture entitled "Some Gave All," and depicts a gun and helmet. It was donated by Richard Nothstein, a borough council member who spearheaded the project.

It will be surrounded by a wide walkway and standing stones with the names of veterans. Those who were killed in action will be named on the base of the sculpture.

The memorial will consist of 24 slabs of granite and contain the names of 180 veterans per slab engraved on the granite. It was made by James N. Mur of Sedona, Ariz., and purchased by Nothstein.

A list of the names of the veterans that are going to be on the memorial is located at the Country Harvest Family Market in Palmerton, said Uhnak, who encouraged veterans to see if their names or relatives names are listed.

Uhnak said T-shirts and sweatshirts that read Palmerton Veterans Memorial across the top, and "Some Gave All" across the bottom, are available for purchase. On the front of the T-shirt is a picture of the statue that will be on the veterans memorial. Blue and red in color, the T-shirts cost $18. Also blue and red in color, the hooded sweatshirts cost $28, while Crews sweatshirts are $23. They are available for purchase at the Country Harvest Family Market, or by calling Uhnak at (610) 826-2902.

Only four benches are left for purchase, said Uhnak, who added that those who purchase the benches will have their names engraved on them.

Uhnak said opportunities to say thank you to veterans can be made by listing the names of individuals on the bricks or granite block. Personal or family donations of $500, or a corporate or business name for $750 will be placed on the Founding Fathers stone. Walkway opportunities include a 10-inch by 14-inch granite block for $200, and can include a military emblem; a 6-inch by 9-inch paver for $50; or a 4-inch by 8-inch paver for $40. There is no deadline to purchase the bricks or granite blocks, he said.

Uhnak said a bridge collection will be held from 3-7 p.m. Aug. 10. In addition, he said the PUVO will have stands set up at the upcoming Carbon County Fair, Palmerton Community Festival, and Bike Night in Lehighton.

For more information, contact Ed Moyer at (610) 504-6680 or tecked@ptd.net; Nothstein at (610) 826-7339 or dnd1@ptd.net; or Uhnak at onlyelvs@ptd.net.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, at 10 a.m.

The dedication for the memorial will be held on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, starting at noon. Uhnak encouraged those who purchased T-shirts and sweatshirts to wear them that day. Then at 2 p.m., Palmerton will host the Carbon County Veterans Day Parade.

Information about the memorial can be viewed on Facebook, under Palmerton Area Servicemen and Women Memorial, and on palmertonuvo.org.