New Castle News Opinion

Today is Election Day.

Monday — or Sunday, if you’re a traditionalist — is Veterans Day. It’s appropriate that the two come so close together. In fact, maybe someone should give some thought to making them coincide.

After all, it is our veterans who keep your right to vote alive and protected. Several local schools are staging special ceremonies to honor local veterans, and if your district is one of them, we urge you to attend. We’ll also pass along a reminder that the annual downtown Veterans Day parade steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday. Mark it on your calendar and be there to cheer local veterans as they march by.

We are particularly encouraged to see two ongoing efforts to honor Lawrence County residents who served in the Vietnam War.

The first is a memorial to be constructed at Cascade Park. The project is being spearheaded by the Lawrence County Veterans Affairs Office, the New Castle Area Honor Guard, American Legion Post 343 and VFW Post 315.

Anthony Camerot, a Navy veteran of the conflict who spoke at the Legion’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Service last week, described the monument as being made of black granite, with names inscribed in gold lettering, and pillars on each side.

The estimated cost of the memorial is $30,000, and donations are being sought. A donation of $1,000 will get the donor’s name posted on one of five granite benches surrounding the memorial, but any amount is welcome.

We encourage the community to join in the effort and donate to help remember in particular the 36 local men who gave their lives in Vietnam. To donate, send checks payable to Lawrence County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to American Legion Post 343, in care of Tom Skowronski, 134 N. Jefferson St., New Castle PA 16101.

A complementary project is in the works, headed up by local resident Hugh Coryea and the city’s assistant public works

director Brian Heichel. The initiative aims to raise money to erect one flag from each branch of the service to surround the proposed Vietnam memorial.

Together, the two projects would stand next to an existing monument commemorating the soldiers who fought in the Persian Gulf.

For more information on how to help, call contact Heichel at (724) 652-7661 or Coryea at (724) 651-6747.

Now is also an appropriate time to remember the efforts of Union Township resident Mike Dudo, who is spearheading a project to replace missing or illegible veterans’ tombstones in Greenwood Cemetery with bronze markers provided by the Veterans Administration.

The markers are free, but they must be installed on concrete backers, and these will cost around $70,000 for the 247 unmarked graves.

Anyone who would like to donate toward the cost of those markers may send a check payable to Greenwood Cemetery and mail it to American Legion Post 343, 134 N. Jefferson St., New Castle PA 16101, Attention Mike Dudo. Dudo also is selling shirts and sweatshirts to support his project. More information about the project or the shirts is available by calling Dudo at (724) 714-4192.

We encourage all to support these efforts to remember our local veterans, especially the ones who gave their lives for their country — and our community.

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