2008-08-30 / News

Military Honor Roll dream fulfilled

Hundreds of Coudersport area men and women have served their nation as members of the military. Now, their service is recognized in a very public way.

American Legion Post 192 is completing work on its military honor roll in downtown Coudersport. It's the fulfillment of a mission that was launched by loyal legionnaire Ralph Caldwell.

From advocacy and fund-raising, to steering the project through a maze of approvals, Caldwell has seen his dream take shape.

Sturdy and attractive redwood framing, custom-built by Calvin Horning, was erected. Wooden panels that now bear the names of military personnel dating back to the Civil War were prepared by Pennsylvania Conservation Corps crew.

Meanwhile, Caldwell conferred with local historian Bob Currin and logged many hours at the Potter County Historical Society Museum, compiling lists of names to be recognized through one of the most ambitious projects in Post 192's history.

Organizers say that credit for the development of the memorial, located at the Coudersport Arboretum near the borough office, should be shared.

Recently, volunteers Bob Welsh, Jim Boothby, Brett Cole, John Orlowski and Al Rohrer joined Caldwell in the placement of flagpoles. The flags were stored by Arboretum neighbor Tom Costa, who raised and lowered the flags on a daily basis until the lights were installed.

A commemorative eagle was purchased by Wendy Gauld of the Corner Store. The eagle was hand-painted by Lisa Snyder. Placement of the eagle is on a stone pedestal that Chad Barr of Austin built and donated.

Coudersport Borough employees have assisted in many aspects of military honor roll. Lee Gross performed excavation work. Hedlund Glass of Bradford was retained for the glass encasement. Tooter Randall prepared printed materials. Mike Kallenborn from Pine Valley Landscaping performed many hours of design work.

Long-time local contractor Tom Chitester donated the structure title lettering on the wall. Wayne Paving came through with a donation of concrete.

Memorial bricks have been ordered. The bricks may be purchased and engraved at a cost of $50. They'll be placed in the sidewalk area around the honor roll. Contact person for these is Kathy Kinard at 274-7829.

Caldwell supervises the compiling and listing of military veterans' names, which is a continuing process. He can be reached at 274-7343.

"We don't want anyone to be left out -- that's very important to us," Caldwell told Endeavor News.

Anyone who served in the military from the Coudersport Area School District, as defined by today's boundaries, is eligible for inclusion.

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