May 15, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Veterans Memorial Committee of Skaneateles is hoping to add a new wall that honors Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, active military members and reservists to the Shotwell Park Veterans Memorial, the village board of trustees was informed at its May 10 meeting.
The wall would look the same as the walls currently in the park, hold about 70 names and take at least two-and-a-half years to get done, said Kurt Riley, committee chair and commander of the Skaneateles American Legion, during a presentation of the idea to the board.
“What we’d like to ask is everybody’s help,” Riley said.
The Shotwell Park veterans memorial currently has plaques honoring veterans from nearly every American conflict from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam. A plaque to honor War of 1812 veterans has just been completed and will be installed under the Spanish American War plaque before Memorial Day; and a new name was recently added to the Vietnam plaque.
The Veterans Memorial Committee, which is made up of Riley, Bob Green, Charles Major, Beth Batlle and Bob Hermann, have been considering the addition of a new plaque for Iraq and Afghan veterans and active service personnel within the memorial, but could not find a decent place for it, Riley said. Instead, they propose to erect a new wall on the south (lake) side of the memorial.
The new wall would have an identical look to the current aesthetic of the memorial, Riley said. It would be made of Central New York limestone, 12 feet long with two wings coming off the sides. The wall would be four feet high in the center and, after a step down, two feet high on the wings, and would not obstruct the view of the lake. The veterans plaque would be placed in the center of the wall.
The trees currently on the spot would be removed for the construction of the wall, but new landscaping of low bushes behind the wall would be included to “ease the harshness” of the view from the lake, Green said.
“That’s kind of what we propose,” Riley said. “We thought this would really enhance Shotwell Park.”
No costs to build a new wall have been investigated or estimated yet, but the committee intends the project to be completely funded through donations, Riley and Green said. “We’re not looking for the village to come up with any money for this,” Green said.
One fundraising idea the committee had was to sell paver bricks that would be labeled “in memory of” a Skaneateles veteran, and use the bricks around the base of the new wall. The trustees were not taken with that idea, concerned about changing the look of the memorial and about mixing acknowledgements for donations with honoring of veterans.
“We’re open to suggestions,” Riley said, adding that the committee just wants to begin the thought and dialogue about creating the new memorial.
“This is going to be a long process,” Green said.
The committee will be giving a similar presentation of the Iraq and Afghan veterans memorial idea to the Skaneateles Town Board at its May 17 meeting.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.