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    Dedication ceremony for memorial set for Dec. 7

Seventy years after Pearl Harbor

Amherst Bee, November 30, 2011 / Front Page

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

Photo by Jim Smerecak. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com

    Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette stands in front of the new Amherst Veterans Memorial at Amherst State Park, off Mill Street near Sheridan Drive. A dedication ceremony for the memorial, which honors all of the nation’s military, will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. Just seven months after its official groundbreaking, the Amherst Veterans Memorial is complete in time to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    A dedication ceremony for the memorial, located in Amherst State Park, off Mill Street near Sheridan Drive, will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the park.

    The structure features a paver-block area, 60 feet in diameter, where a 6-foot-tall, multi-dimensional stone wall has been created.

    The memorial also includes granite remembrance panels to recognize fallen veterans, and a five-outlet waterfall feature has also been installed.

    Five large bronze medallions, representing each branch of the military — Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard — are mounted on the 6-foot walls.

    “We wanted to make sure that it was big enough to accommodate a lot of people,” said Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette.

    He said the Town Board and the Town Veterans Committee worked together for nearly a year before breaking ground on the project. Now that the memorial has been brought to fruition, Marlette said it is a great addition to the historic park.

“It will serve a dual purpose — to honor our veterans and make it a travel destination for visitors of our community,” Marlette said.

He said that in addition to the construction of the memorial, the grotto in the park was also repaired.

    Marlette said one of the best features of the memorial is that it will be accessible directly from Mill Street. A new 8-foot-wide concrete sidewalk has been constructed leading to the memorial through the upper level of the park.

    “It is an honor to have been part of the team that created a memorial to veterans in Amherst,” Marlette said. “My father was career Army, and I know firsthand what sacrifices veterans and their families make to serve our country.”

    Marlette and other local elected officials are scheduled to be at the dedication ceremony. James Mahoney, a veteran and member of the Amherst Veterans Committee, is also scheduled to attend the event.

    “This memorial honors all five branches of our armed forces and provides an opportunity for people to reflect on the dedication and commitment of our men and women in uniform,” he said in a prepared statement. “Throughout my career I had the opportunity to work with service members who put the needs of the United States ahead of themselves. We are grateful for their service.”

    Amherst State Park includes approximately 77 acres of state-owned land and about three acres of town-owned land.

    For more information about the memorial, visit www.amherststatepark.org.

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