By Jennifer Weber
Veterans Day is a day we come together as a nation to remember all who served our great country. Every year we honor our service members on the 11th day of November, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. In 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in remembrance of the sacrifice made from all veterans from all wars.
This year, for 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening the observance of Veterans Day to include both Veterans and Military Families for the entire month of November.
While you’re out this Saturday at your local Veteran Day remembrance ceremony, plan for some extra time to walk around and view some of the many historical markers honoring our veterans. Once you start to pay attention and really look around, you will see historical markers everywhere. This is a truth I learned after marrying a historical re-enactor and becoming one with the hobby, really, a lifestyle.
The information below is compiled from the Historical Marker Database located online at www.hmdb.org.
• The Erie County Iraq & Afghanistan Memorial is located in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “As we honor the memory of these Erie County residents killed in action, let us pledge that their lives, sacrifices and valor shall always be remembered.”
• The Erie County Vietnam Memorial is located in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “We remember forever with the names etched here the citizens of Erie County who, in service to the United States of America, were killed in Vietnam or designated as missing in action (MIA) 1959 to 1975.”
• The Operation Enduring Freedom marker honoring those who served in the Afghanistan war is located in Shuttleworth Park in Springville. The inscription reads, “Brian Baker. Dedicated to those who have proudly served and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
• The Our Honored Dead Memorial is located at the center of Fiddlers Green Park in Springville and was erected by
David S. Ingalls in memory of the defenders of our country 1861-1865. The inscription reads “By valor and sacrifice, through unmeasured suffering and death, they preserved the honor and integrity of the nation and maintained the principle of free government in America. Not for themselves but for their country.”
• The Korean War marker, dedicated in 1987 is located in Shuttleworth Park in Springville in memory of Edward F. Mathewson, Joseph Benson and James Wolf.
• The Veterans Memorial Grove was erected by Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program and is located in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “We loved them once. We love them now. Dedicated to: Who they were, what they sacrificed and how much they loved each other.”
• The Vietnam marker is located in Shuttleworth Park in Springville and is dedicated to the memory of Barry A. Bidwell, John Ellis, Bruce A. Crosby, Jr and Dennis R. Heinz, who gave their lives in defense of freedom in the Vietnam War,
• The World War II marker is located in Shuttleworth Park in Springville. The inscription reads “Ever protect the freedoms for which they fought.”
• The World War I and World War II marker is located at the intersection of Jefferson Street and West Washington Street on Jefferson Street. It was erected by the Ellicottville Memorial American Legion Post No. 65. in 1950 in memory of those from Ellicottville who served in World War I and World War II. On the back of the monument there’s a bronze plaque honoring veterans of all the 20th century wars.
• The Franklinville Veterans marker is located at the intersection of Park Square and Chestnut Street and was erected in memory of those who died in the service of their country in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The plaque was donated by the Ischua Valley Exchange Club in 2006.
• The Great Valley Veterans Memorial is located at the intersection of Humphrey Road (Route 18) and Salamanca Sugartown Road (Route 98), It is dedicated “in honor and memory of the men and women of this township who answered the call of their country.”