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Work begins at veterans memorial

While winter usually implies a time for hibernating and indoor activities, progress on the Veterans Memorial is moving forward through Phase One of the project.

Excavation began at the memorial site in Ontelaunee Park on Jan. 28.

With the removal of the tree stumps at the site, grading can begin and the installation of electric infrastructure and underground stormwater drainage can move forward.

Andrew Talago, with Pennsylvania Site Contractors, donated construction services for the excavation.

“Materials for erosion control, underground drainage and construction fencing have also been donated,” said Bill Dellicker, secretary of the Northwestern Lehigh Veterans Memorial Committee.

“All four townships will be donating the pipes,” added committee President Donald Christ.

“The work will proceed through the summer using contractors who have bid on the work or volunteered their services along with our townships’ resources for materials and equipment,” Dellicker said.

“Ron Jerdon of Jerdon Construction Services will coordinate this work as our construction manager at no cost to the project.”

Phase One signals the committee’s fundraising campaign to secure additional funds for the completion of the memorial.

“Committee members will be contacting local businesses during the next few months for donations to fund the memorial costs,” Dellicker said.

“At this point, we estimate needing approximately $82,000 in cash or in-kind donations from area businesses and individuals to complete the project.”

Local businesses may choose to sponsor items such as flagpoles, benches or trees that will enhance the appearance and utility of the memorial.

A plaque will acknowledge the donor.

“Donors may contribute by sponsoring items in the memorial as well as ads in the Souvenir Memorial Dedication Booklet,” Christ said. “Those that contribute to the cause will get a copy of the booklet.

“Each township will send their representatives out to see if local businesses want to advertise in our booklet.

“We will go out of the area as well. Anybody who donated money will also be acknowledged.”

The souvenir booklet will be available for a nominal price.

All the names listed on the memorial will be included.

The committee is moving forward despite the pandemic.

“Certainly, it would have gone a little faster if COVID hadn’t hit, which makes it hard to look for donations,” Christ said. “But we were moving all the time, holding meetings using technology, and will continue to do so.

“I hope we’ll get to some sort of normal soon.”

Ultimately, 11 granite panels will memorialize the names of some 2,200 veterans. Pavers, fencing trees and lighting will be installed.

The dedication ceremony is slated for Veterans Day 2021, with the entire community invited to attend.

Visit nwlehighvetsmemorial.org for updates and additional information.

Andrew Talago with Pennsylvania Site Contractors donated contracting services for excavation of the Northwestern Lehigh Veterans Memorial. PRESS PHOTO BY ANNA GILGOFF
Within months, all of the concrete foundations for the granite panels, flagpole and fence pillars will be installed in Phase 2 of the project. PRESS PHOTO BY ANNA GILGOFF