2008-11-15 / Front Page

MILITARY HONOR ROLL A 'CONTRIBUTION TO FREEDOM'

A large crowd gathered for the official unveiling of Coudersport's Military Honor Roll on Veterans Day Tuesday. The wall, sponsored by American Legion Post 192, honors all those who served in the military from the Coudersport Area School District, as defined by today's boundaries. A large crowd gathered for the official unveiling of Coudersport's Military Honor Roll on Veterans Day Tuesday. The wall, sponsored by American Legion Post 192, honors all those who served in the military from the Coudersport Area School District, as defined by today's boundaries. "This is our contribution to freedom," said Ralph Caldwell, pointing to hundreds of names of military veterans, spanning Civil War soldiers through active duty personnel.

American Legion Post 192 paused Tuesday to dedicate one of its most ambitious projects, the Military Wall of Honor, located on the border of the Coudersport Arboretum and the former railroad depot that now houses borough offices.

Dozens of people, many of them veterans themselves or their survivors, attended the Veterans Day ceremony.

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

Sturdy and attractive redwood framing was erected and wooden panels prepared. 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 included.

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

Guest of honor at the ceremony was Michael Lajcsak, a former prisoner during World War II.

Post 192 Commander George Locke, on behalf of Post 192, exchanged salutes with veterans from each branch of the U.S. military: John Orlowski, Army; Jim Boothby, Air Force; Buck Hayes, Coast Guard; Vic Corneliussen, Navy; Dan Counts, Marines.

Locke paid tribute to the Coudersport area's two winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Civil War Corporal Thomas Cullen and Navy Lt. James MacDonald.

Chuck Dillon, an aide to State Senator Joe Scarnati, commended Post 192 for making the Military Wall of Honor a reality.

Caldwell expressed hope that generations that follow will maintain the Military Wall of Honor. Addition of names is a continuing process, he said.

Anyone with additional names to be included should contact Caldwell at 274-7343.

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