Plenty of space remains at the Palmerton Veterans Memorial to purchase bricks or blocks as a way to thank veterans for their valiant service.
Orders should be placed by July 1 of 2014 so that they may be placed on the memorial in time for Nov. of 2014, according to Joe Uhnak, first vice commander, American Legion Post 269.
Uhnak said 266 names and 95 bricks have been submitted for inclusion on the memorial since last Veterans Day, when the Palmerton United Veterans Organization held the dedication of the memorial in the borough park.
The bricks and blocks for the Nov. 11 dedication have been installed, and two stones have been removed by Walters Monument Company, Summit Hill, to be taken back to the shop for engraving.
With permission from the borough, the PUVO - which consists 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 veterans who hailed from the Palmerton Area School District that gave the ultimate sacrifice, and to those who served to preserve our freedom.
The memorial is located on a section of land 40 feet by 60 feet in size in the lower southwest corner of the park, 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 is 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 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. Local contractor Todd Wentz did excavating work and the laying of the base of the monument.
Uhnak said there is a clearance sale on crew neck sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, and a sweat shirt jacket with zipper and hood. They are available by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (610)-826-2902. The T-shirts and sweatshirts read Palmerton Veterans Memorial across the top, and "Some Gave All" across the bottom. Blue and red in color, the T-shirts cost $10; hooded sweatshirts, $25; crew sweatshirts, $20; and the sweat shirt jacket - of which there is only one left - $30. For sizes 2X and up, add $3.
Also, opportunities to say thank you to veterans, friends, or a family member, can be made by purchasing bricks or a granite block. Walkway opportunities include a 10-inch by 14-inch granite block for $200, a 6-inch by 9-inch paver for $50; or a 4-inch by 8-inch paver for $40.
An information box, complete with forms for names to go on the memorial wall, bricks and blocks, is available at the site.
In addition, Uhnak said there are also benches available for sale at a cost of $800. Contact Ed Moyer, Commander, American Legion Post 269, at (570)-325-9657, or Uhnak, for details.
Uhnak noted the PUVO had a raffle this past Sunday at the Palmerton Community Festival. Terry Beers won the hooded sweat shirt, while Susan Winston won the T-shirt.
He said the PUVO would like to extend a "Thank you to all those who visited the tent at the festival, and made a purchase or gave donations toward the memorial."
A flag retirement ceremony for any unserviceable flags will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the Palmerton Borough Park bandshell, Uhnak said. Any flags that need to be retired may be taken to a drop-off box at the Country Harvest Family Market, he said.
The PUVO will host a short ceremony at the memorial this coming Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., Uhnak said. At that time, the dedication of the names and bricks since last November will be held, he said.
For more information, contact Ed Moyer at (610) 504-6680 or email@example.com; Nothstein at (610) 826-7339 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Uhnak at email@example.com, or (610) 826-2902.
Information about the memorial can be viewed on Facebook, under Palmerton Area Servicemen and Women Memorial, and on palmertonuvo.org.