MILLERTON — More than a hundred residents, along with members of the armed services and elected officials, gathered to dedicate a veterans memorial in Houser Park, Millerton.
The monument, along with walking paths, flag poles and a brick paver memorial area, sits on the site of the old Millerton School. The ceremony dedicated the monument and grounds to members of the armed services, both past and present.
Jackson Township supervisor Walt Barnes served as the emcee, and offered some history on the project.
In 2015, the township celebrated its bicentennial with funds raised from local residents and businesses. At the completion of that celebration, a surplus of nearly $20,000 remained, which the supervisors set aside to be used by the bicentennial committee.
Shortly thereafter, the Millerton School, which was retired in 1995 and sat idle for many years, was determined to be a liability for the township. Plans were made for its demolition and the idea of replacing it with a Veterans Memorial began to take shape.
The monument, a gray granite pentagon, with the emblem of each military branch, is topped by a polished black granite rectangle, laser etched with a red, white and blue flag.
Barnes said that the brick memorial paver area was made possible by the sale of bricks, which can be engraved to memorialize or honor a service member or simply noted as a gift.
Barnes presented a brick to former resident Tim Stone, who drove 110 miles to attend, just surpassing Congressman Fred Keller’s drive from Snyder County.
Two trees were planted on the grounds in memory of former Supervisor Martin “Mickey” Curren.
Elected officials joining in the celebration included township supervisor Don Hoffman, Tioga County commissioners Roger Bunn and Erick Coolidge, state Rep. Clint Owlett and Keller.
Following a prayer by the Rev. Harold Burrell and the posting of the colors by members of the Tioga American Legion, representatives from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts raised the American flag, the state flag, and the POW-MIA flag on the new poles behind the monument. Resident Josh Burrell sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Navy veteran Roger Bunn, joking that one day the Navy would be the greatest contingent, counted the members of each of the branches of the service and noted that over 20 members of the United States Army were on hand, outnumbering all other branches of service.
Coolidge, Owlett and Keller thanked the military members for their service, some of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and commented on the feeling of awe each experienced as the American flag was hoisted on its standard.
This was followed by brief remarks by local residents Tom Hager (Navy), Lyndon “LB” and Jayne Bailey (Air Force), George Stone (Army), Tim Stone (Marines) and Sherman and Laura Smith (Coast Guard).