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Veterans Memorial Wall rededication in NT


Mon, Apr 15th 2024 03:10 pm

City of North Tonawanda Mayor Austin Tylec and Historian Susan Gosch announce the rededication of the Veterans Memorial wall in Brauer Park. This event will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, May 31, at 214 Payne Ave., in the park adjacent to City Hall. Parking is available in the City Hall parking lot or on the street, free of charge.

The memorial wall, also referred to as “The Roll of Honor,” was constructed shortly after World War II ended and commemorates the residents of North Tonawanda who served their country in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. The initial dedication took place on Memorial Day in 1946. At that time, the names of around 1,500 North Tonawanda citizens who served in WWII were engraved on individual bronze plates resting on mahogany behind glass panels.

It was discovered that the original plates had been removed around 1967, but officials had no record of their whereabouts. In 1998, then Common Council President Paul Reidenouer appointed a task force to work on the restoration, and a decision was made to add Korean and Vietnam war veterans. Supplemental plates were added with those names. In late 2023, the city historian’s office was contacted with more names that were also missing from the original plates.

An additional supplemental plate with those missing names was made and much-needed work was done to repair serious erosion on the wall itself, including painting and masonry work.

The monument, made entirely of concrete, is approximately 50 feet wide and 8 feet high, and contains the names of over 2,500 North Tonawanda veterans on darkened steel plates. A center plate reads: “DEDICATED TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH TONAWANDA WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SKIES, ON THE HIGH SEAS AND ON THE ARTIC, DESERT, CITY AND JUNGLE BATTLEFIELDS. GOD WILL NEVER FORGIVE US, IF WE BREAK FAITH WITH THESE HONORED DEAD.”

This restoration project and plaque were funded by the AMVETS of Niagara Frontier Post No. 26 of the New York State Department of AMVETS, courtesy of Matty Rusin.

The mayor’s office said, “Many thanks to the AMVETS for their support of this important project. Also, thanks to the City of North Tonawanda Parks and Recreation Department for painting and upkeep.

“This is a free event – all are invited. We hope to see veterans, their families and friends, and the NT community, on Friday, May 31.”

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