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Veterans Memorial Park set to be unveiled in Lehighton

A venue created to honor local servicemen and women who gave their lives to defend our nation is set to be sanctified on Veterans Day.

The dedication of Lehighton Veterans Memorial Park will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the site, located on a tract of land between Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Boulevard and Lehigh Drive.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley will serve as the main speaker. The event will feature the dedication of the park and sign, as well as monuments and flagpoles.

Earlier this year, borough council agreed to name the tract of land as the Lehighton Veterans Memorial Park to honor all Lehighton area veterans who gave of their lives in all wars.

Kevin “Spike” Long, commander of the Lehighton United Veterans Organization, explained the significance of the dedication.

“We want it to be a place for the people of Lehighton to go down there and focus on the sacrifices that have been made,” Long said. “Lehighton Borough has been very supportive of all the veterans.”

In September, borough council granted the Lehighton UVO permission to erect six flagpoles at the park that were donated by the Lehighton Orioles Nest 183.

Long said the park is close to where the old Lehigh Valley Railroad was located.

“These guys that left for WWI, World War II, even Korea, they left from that train station,” he said. “So having that park in that proximity, one of the last things they saw of Lehighton was leaving from that station there, so it’s kind of a nostalgic and historic area.”

Long said the park also includes the World War II/Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Blvd. monument, as well as a War at Home Memorial dedicated to Spc. Michael Wargo.

Wargo was a 1994 graduate of Lehighton Area High School. After 9/11, he joined the U.S. Army, where he spent 10 months in Afghanistan as a chemical weapons specialist.

He suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder for eight years, before taking his life on May 20, 2013.

The Lehighton UVO consists of the American Legion Post 314, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 256, and American Veterans Post 106.