At long last, Palmerton area veterans will forever be immortalized through a monument created in their memory.
The highly anticipated Palmerton Veterans Memorial Dedication will be held at noon on Sunday, Veterans Day, in the borough park.
With permission from the borough, the Palmerton United Veterans Organization - which is comprised of the American Legion Post 269 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7134 - decided to build the memorial in the park as a tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and to those who served to preserve our freedom.
Joe Uhnak, first vice commander, American Legion Post 269 in Palmerton, urged visitors to attend the dedication to "honor your veterans who sacrificed and gave all for your country."
"This has been a dream of ours for the past three years," Uhnak said. "We worked very hard for this, and are so glad it's finally coming to a dedication."
Uhnak said much of the credit deserves to go to Ed Moyer, commander, American Legion Post 269, whom he said "was the one that got this thing going and did the most work."
Because there will be limited seating, Uhnak encouraged guests to bring their own chairs along.
The memorial is located on a section of land 40 feet by 60 feet in size in the lower southwest corner of the park, where the present flagpole is situated, and includes a list of all veterans' names on granite monuments from all time periods of service.
It includes 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.
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. James N. Muir of Sedona, Ariz., sculpted the top piece of the sculpture, which was donated by goodwill Ambassador Richard Nothstein.
It will be surrounded by a wide walkway and standing stones with the names of veterans. Those who were killed in action are named on the base of the sculpture.
The memorial consists of 24 slabs of granite, and contains the names of 180 veterans per slab engraved on the granite. Walters Monument Company, Summit Hill, did the engraving of all the names on the pillars, bricks and blocks. Matt Lang, of Lang's Landscaping &Tree Service, Palmerton, laid all the bricks and blocks.
A list of the names of the veterans that are on the memorial is located at the Country Harvest Family Market in Palmerton.
Available for purchase are T-shirts and sweatshirts that read Palmerton Veterans Memorial across the top, and "Some Gave All" across the bottom. 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 crew sweatshirts are $23. They are available for purchase at the Country Harvest Family Market, or by calling Uhnak at (610) 826-2902.
One bench remains available for purchase. Those who purchase a bench will have their names engraved on them.
Also, 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.
Any additional donations the PUVO receives will be used toward the maintenance and upkeep of the memorial.
For more information, contact Moyer at (610) 504-6680 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Nothstein at (610) 826-7339 or email@example.com; or Uhnak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about the memorial can be viewed on Facebook, under Palmerton Area Servicemen and Women Memorial, and on palmertonuvo.org.