CLYMER - Veterans, you are not forgotten.
In honor of Veterans Day and in remembrance of those who served when their number was called, Clymer Central School dedicated a wall of honor to American military veterans hailing from Clymer, French Creek and Mina.
Despite school being out for the holiday, 200 people were in attendance for the commemoration of the veterans' wall of honor.
Over 200 people attended a memorial wall dedication ceremony in front of Clymer Central School on Monday. The wall contains 1,083 veterans’ names, including 62 who were killed in action — identified with red nameplates — and 59 Gold Star Mothers.
P-J photos by Remington Whitcomb
"This veterans' honor roll is here today because a small, local band of patriots worked together to make it happen," said Robert Niver. "There were many meetings, many discussions and many difficult decisions that needed to be made, but we all felt it was a labor of love. It was a blend of veterans and patriots working together for a common cause. What I think is highly commendable is that the honor roll you see here today was created without any federal money. No federal grants, no state grants, no community foundation money - only dollars that came from the community. I think it was done the Clymer way: no handouts, just plain old hard work. I want to thank the committee for a very wise decision they made. They made the honor roll inclusive rather than exclusive. This honor roll isn't just composed of people that were born here. It is full of people who made contributions to the community, regardless of where they were from. ... When we made this wall, there were three objectives we wanted to fulfill: we wanted to recognize all veterans of all wars, we wanted something that would stand the test of time, and we wanted something that could be added to in the future."
"I think this wall has achieved all of those objectives," Niver continued. "It truly is a great tribute to those who deserve to be remembered."
As part of the ceremony, Clymer Central School attempted to have at least one veteran represented from every major American war since World War II.
The veterans who represented America during their particular conflicts are as followed: Wilber Renskers, World War II; Barb Duink, Department of Defense government civilian post during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; Leonard Neckers, Vietnam War and Operation Uphold Democracy; and Dennis Heslink, Air Force pilot instructor from 1971 to 1975.
"For all of the veterans here today, thank you for your service and your sacrifice," said Duink. "All of the women and men that serve our country today volunteer - they volunteer to do a hard job and they are very dedicated to their country and their job. They come from small and big cities, small and big towns - but they all come to serve. Veterans Day is a day that is officially dedicated to world peace, and the men and women who serve ... do just that. they serve for peace, not war. Peace."
Following the speeches, a 21-gun salute was given in honor of those who have died while serving the country, and Taps was played by Charles Raven.
The wall of honor has 1,083 names on it, however there is room for more to be added. Sixty-two members of the wall have been killed in action, and they are honored with red name plates to distinguish themselves from those who are still alive. The wall also contains 59 Gold-Star Mothers, and there are three pairs of bothers on the wall, additionally.
Furthermore, customizable bricks that line the walk which leads up to the wall of honor can be purchased in honor or in memory of loved ones. The price of a custom brick begins at $50 and goes up to $250. Those interested in purchasing a brick may call Sandy Koerselman at 355-6509.