About 90 percent of the donations for a memorial to recognize Palmerton area servicemen and women has been secured.
George Duell Jr, a member of the memorial committee, recently addressed the status of the memorial to members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Palmerton United Veteran's Organization 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.
Duell said 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.
"These are the people who have responded to our nation's cause," Duell said. "I have been really impressed, surprised and pleased with the outstanding support from the community."
To date, Duell said $138,000 has been raised for the monument. About another $15,000 to $20,000 in donations is still needed, he said.
"It's been a very positive experience for all of us," he said. "It's just amazing, the community response."
Recently, a granite block was purchased for the statue, and the PUVO plans to light the statue and install fencing around it.
The memorial will be located on a section of land 35 feet by 40 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.
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.
The sculpture 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.
One of 10 created depicting the gun and helmet, the sculpture will consist of between 30 and 40 slabs of granite and contain the names of about 180 veterans per slab engraved on the granite. It was made by James N. Mur of Sedona, Ariz., who sent a plaque to Nothstein that told about the sculpture's beginnings. A poem by Major Michael Davis O'Donnell on one side of the base was written for soldiers killed in a battle in Vietnam.
Opportunities to say thank you to veterans can be made by listing the name of the individual on the granite wall for a $500 donation, and a corporate or business name for $750. 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.
Duell said May 31 is the deadline for names to be recognized on the bricks and pavers for the walkway. Anyone who submits information after May 31 will be placed after the dedication ceremony for the memorial, he said.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, with a rain date of Saturday, Aug. 18.
The dedication ceremony to mark the 100-year celebration of the borough will be held on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. Then, at 2 p.m., Palmerton will host the Carbon County Veterans Day Parade.
The necessary information should include the individual's name, branch of service, dates of service, rank, date of birth, residence at time of induction, and years living in the Palmerton area. It should be sent to the Palmerton Legion, P.O. Box 84, Palmerton, PA 18071, or Palmerton VFW, 2020 Forest Inn Road, Palmerton, PA 18071.
At the conclusion of Duell's presentation, Peter Kern, president of the chamber, extolled praise on those individuals responsible for the memorial.
"We appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into this project," Kern said. "It's something we often take for granted."
Information about the memorial can be viewed on Facebook, under Palmerton Area Servicemen and Women Memorial, and on palmertonuvo.org.
Anyone with questions, or those who want to submit the information, may contact Ed Moyer at (610) 504-6680 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Nothstein at (610) 826-7339 or email@example.com , or Joe Uhnak at firstname.lastname@example.org .