Summerville Residents Break Ground on New Veterans’ Memorial

SUMMERVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – With Veterans Day approaching, what better way to celebrate a community’s armed service veterans than to break ground on a new memorial?

That’s exactly what the Summerville Veterans Memorial Committee did on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the property of Greg and Cheryl Furlong.

“Many of our residents have served our country, some having made the ultimate sacrifice,” Summerville Borough Council President Bill Gatehouse said during the ceremony.

“They should be memorialized and recognized, otherwise they and their sacrifices may be forgotten.”

Summerville Veterans Memorial Committee Groundbreaking

“Their service is what gives us the opportunity to stand here today without fear of reprisal.”

State Representative Cris Dush also spoke of why the memorial is so important.

“We come to take time to pause and reflect on those who have come before us, the people who have made sacrifices before us to give us the freedoms we have that we benefit from here in the United States,” Dush said.

“I’ve had the distinct honor to serve around the world in the Air Force with fellow members in the Army, Navy, and Marines, and we get a chance to see what other nations do not have, the freedoms that just plain don’t exist  in those countries.”

Colleen Cooney, one of the founding members of the Memorial Committee told of her inspiration to honor the town’s veterans.

“I was working on the Story Project (a local history book) and was surprised to learn how many people from the Summerville area had served in the military,” Cooney said. “When I realized we didn’t have a memorial, it was something I felt was important.”

“To see everything falling into place, it has to be God, it was meant to be,” Cooney said.

Cooney went to work and got in touch with Vietnam War veteran Russ Sweitzer.

The duo then welcomed Cheryl Furlong, Sweitzer’s wife, Sherry, and Vietnam vet Paul Brown to create the Memorial Committee.

Government restrictions at the state and federal levels made finding a home for the memorial difficult at first.

However, Cheryl’s husband Greg, who is the Mayor of Summerville and owner of Furlong Funeral Home in town, decided they should offer an easement on their property along State Street for the memorial.

The memorial will include a square with a marble monument on one side and a brick area that will be surrounded by cement walks.

The success of the fundraising will dictate just how much will be included in the memorial.

The group is doing two fundraisers to help pay for the work.

One is a memorial paver brick project. For a donation of $100.00, a brick will be inscribed with the name of the donor’s choice. Donors do not have to be veterans.

The bricks will be installed near the memorial. A separate section will be designated for civilians. The pavers will have three lines with 12 spaces per line. There are 1,000 paver bricks available for inscription, although Committee President Russ Sweitzer said sales have already begun.

Donations may be submitted to Summerville Veteran’s Memorial Fund, 255 Heathville Road, Summerville, PA 15864. Donors should include their name, address and contact information when ordering a paver brick.

The committee is also selling ‘Summerville Veterans Memorial’ T-shirts for $15.00 ($20.00 for 2X-5X); sweatshirts for $20.00 ($25.00 for 2X-5X); and zip hooded sweatshirts for $30.00 ($35.00 for 2X-5X).

The anticipated dedication for the monument is Memorial Day of 2018.

For more information, call Cooney at 814-856-12159 or Sweitzer at 814-849-3339.

(Pictured below: Summerville Veterans’ Poster)

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