Renewing the solemn memory

Vet­er­ans of For­eign War Me­mori­al Post 20 held a re-ded­ic­a­tion ce­re­mony on Sunday af­ter­noon for the war me­mori­al at Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School. The me­mori­al had been in front of the former Lin­coln build­ing, but was moved when the struc­ture was de­mol­ished to make room for the new school. (Tom War­ing)


A war me­mori­al has stood on the Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School cam­pus since be­ing ded­ic­ated back in 1951.

The former May­fair Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars Post 1880 ded­ic­ated the monu­ment in hon­or of all Amer­ic­ans who fought in pri­or wars.

The words on it read, “Ded­ic­ated by this com­munity to all those who served their coun­try so gal­lantly in all wars.”

At the time, the Korean War was on­go­ing.

The 12-ton monu­ment re­mained in place for 60 years but needed to be moved with the de­moli­tion of the old Lin­coln build­ing.

The struc­ture moved to its new home, along the Ry­an Av­en­ue por­tion of the cam­pus, last Novem­ber.

The 200-plus mem­bers of VFW Me­mori­al Post 20, which is the old­est in Phil­adelphia, wanted to wait un­til Me­mori­al Day week­end to reded­ic­ate the monu­ment.

The big day came on May 27.

The monu­ment is com­ple­men­ted by Amer­ic­an flags, a Pris­on­er of War/Miss­ing in Ac­tion flag, wreaths, a flag pole, stone and grass gar­dens and new con­crete. It is about 100 yards from its former loc­a­tion.

Fol­low­ing the reded­ic­a­tion, the monu­ment now also hon­ors all those who died in wars in Korea, Vi­et­nam, the Per­sian Gulf, Ir­aq and Afgh­anistan.

Among those tak­ing part in the ce­re­mony were com­mand­er Joe Sokol, Ed Bliz­zard, John Lee, Wal­ter Debes, Dan Phil­lips, John Wharten, Joe Buckley, Dave Buch­er, Jay Ulit­sky, Ju­les Bangert and Lou Mar­ger­um.

Mem­bers of Post 20, which is 106 years old, plan to en­grave the date of the reded­ic­a­tion on the monu­ment. They will also add sol­ar light­ing so the Amer­ic­an flag can fly at night.

The Post thanked the fol­low­ing people for their as­sist­ance: Lin­coln prin­cip­al Don An­ti­coli; Fred Raskay, con­struc­tion co­ordin­at­or for the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia; Jason Jordan, pres­id­ent of JMJ Land­scape Con­struc­tion; and Tom Dooley, busi­ness agent for Op­er­at­ing En­gin­eers Loc­al 542.

VFW Me­mori­al Post 20 is based at St. Steph­en’s United Church of Christ, at 4201 Prin­ceton Ave. in Ta­cony. Any­one in­ter­ested in join­ing can call Wal­ter Debes at 215-725-8456. ••


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