During a moving ceremony that featured remarks from Gold Star Families Spokesperson Ruth Stonesifer, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW joined members of the Doylestown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 175 to dedicate the site of a proposed Global War on Terror Memorial. The memorial, as Commissioner Martin noted, will replace the current "Hometown Hero" banners that have been mounted on light poles ringing the Memorial Courtyard over the last six years.
Chairman Loughery thanked the members of VFW Post 175 for their commitment to raise approximately $200,000 for the memorial, which will feature anodized images of Bucks County military heroes killed in the line of duty since 2001. He also thanked the families in attendance for their enduring sacrifice. "This is my third year as an elected official, and every Memorial Day I think we should come up with six or seven special words to describe it," he told a packed tent on a rainy May morning.
Commissioner Martin spoke of the need to build a permanent memorial to honor those who have given their lives to protect our liberty by reciting a quote from President George W. Bush on September 20, 2001. "Our 'war on terror' begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated," Commissioner Martin concluded.
Commissioner Marseglia also expressed her appreciation for the proposed permanent memorial, adding that it will be a welcome addition to an array of memorials that honor Bucks County soldiers from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
The event was emceed by Rich Scott of VFW Post 175, who encouraged individual and corporate donors to help fund the project. He also thanked several corporate backers who have already committed financial resources. For information on how to contribute, please visit www.vfwpost175.org. The event also featured brief remarks from the memorial designer, Steve Brauns, who attended Central Bucks East High School and lives in Doylestown.
Mrs. Stonesifer, whose son Kristofor was killed in action on October 19, 2001 in Pakistan at the age of 28, spoke eloquently about holding him as a baby, listening to him sleep as a child, nursing him through broken bones and bruises because he was a "daredevil," and watching him drive away from the family home, "never to return." She added that she is proud to be part of an American tradition of mothers who have lost children to military service - a tradition that dates back to the American Revolution.
The ceremony also featured the unveiling of the Bucks County Global War on Terror Memorial design, which was displayed on three panels at the site along the Main St. side of the Memorial Courtyard.
BUCKS COUNTY WAR ON TERROR HONORED HEROES
|Mark C. Baum - U.S. Army ||Edward W. Brabazon - U.S. Army |
|Kurt E. Krout - U.S. Army ||Robert H. Dembowski - U.S. Army |
|Travis L. Manion - U.S. Marine Corps ||Nathaniel E. DeTample - U.S. Army |
|Robert T. Mininge - U.S. Marine Corps ||Allen J. Dunckley - U.S. Army |
|Kenneth B. Elwell - U.S. Army ||Jae S. Moon - U.S. Army |
|Brian R. Faunce - U.S. Army ||Patrick R. Nixon - U.S. Marine Corps |
|Barton R. Humlhanz - U.S. Marine Corps ||Tamarra J. Ramos - U.S. Army |
|William J. Maher, III - U.S. Army ||Kristofor T. Stonesifer - U.S. Army |
|Maurice J. Johnson - U.S. Army ||Shawn M. Suzch - U.S. Army |
|Eric Shellenberger - U.S. Navy SEAL ||Colby J. Umbrell - U.S. Army |