For Immediate Release – Report on DCVMA Construction Briefing Update & Tour
For More Information – Barbara Ann Zippi
Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association (DCVMA) President Guy Fizzano welcomed Veterans, elected officials, community leaders, and other guests to a Briefing update on the construction of the Veterans Memorial in Newtown Square.
The Briefing, held late October was hosted at Trattoria Giuseppe, located near the Veterans Memorial, and was followed by a guided tour of the Veterans Memorial construction site.
The morning Briefing began with the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE recited by the guests and led by Bill Kinney of Smedley Butler Detachment 741 and Representative Barry Reese of VFW Post 7390 and was followed by a short video presentation.
DCVMA President Guy Fizzano, a US Army Veteran, thanked those in attendance including honored guests Chester Mayor John Linder and Police Chief Andre Williams. Also in attendance were Founding Member Linda Houldin and the land donor, Claude de Botton, who received a standing ovation for his contributions to the Veterans.
Guests also heard from DCVMA Board Member and VP of Neumann University Dennis Murphy, a US Army Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, who described the special significance of The Wall of Prayers feature of the Veterans Memorial which uniquely pays tribute to the soldiers and Veterans from Delaware County. The Wall of Prayers allows the Veterans Memorial to serve as a gathering place to honor those brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice and were killed in Action from Delaware County. The Wall has engraved on the other side the names of veterans who served or are serving, who lived in Newtown Square. According to Mr. Murphy, “We are honored to engrave their names in the Wall of Prayers”. Other acknowledgments of gratitude were given to specific individuals, as well as the community, for their assistance with information gathering for the Wall, especially, the Delco News Network, Widener Law School and The Delaware County Government Archives.
PA State Representative, Nick Miccarelli of the 162nd Legislative District, has a family history of military service for generations dating back to the Revolutionary War. In addition to Nick Miccarelli’s service as a PA State Representative, he also serves as a staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard and has served two tours in Iraq. In his role as a member of the DCVMA Board of Directors, Representative Miccarelli described the impact and importance of the educational component of the project to the community. There will be nine massive colonnades, each representing an American fought conflict, engraved on which are quotes from Presidents, Generals and Veterans about the conflict and their experiences at the time.
It was announced that The Vietnam Colonnade was recently sponsored by a generous $50,000 donation from The Videon Family. There are still colonnades available for sponsorship from the Revolutionary War through to our current conflicts and interested parties should contact the DCVMA for more details during this construction phrase of the project.
Other news included that the DCVMA has been approved for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC). Spearheaded by Founding Member Linda Houldin, the DCVMA has partnered with The Delco Historical Society and guests were updated on the progress of the educational component of the Veterans Memorial through The Passport to History Program. The educational programming report was presented by Project Curriculum committee members, Commanders Jerry Sweeley, Dave Garvey, & Marty Costello. Also serving on the Dedication Ceremony Committee are Jerry Sweeley, 8th District Commander – Eastern Section, The American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania and Marty Costello, Delaware County Commander, The American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania.
The Educational committee, with representatives from Delaware County Historical Society, Widener University, Neumann University, Delaware County Community College, Marple/Newtown District and St. Joe’s University, to name just a few, assisted in developing the committee’s Mission statement.
The Mission of the Delaware County Veterans Memorial In Newtown Square, Pennsylvania’s Educational Committee’s is to educate, encourage, motivate and inspire all students and citizens who visit the site. These visitors will gain a wealth of knowledge about our nation’s history. Their learning experience will help preserve our history, liberty, and freedom, made affordable to us by those who serve, have served and/or gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The committee reported that tours and educational programs are currently available for schools, scouts, military groups and Passports to History students K-12. Tours will start in the fall of 2013. Currently working on the final draft of the curriculum, the committee has received letters of support from many schools districts such as but not limited to Chester Upland, Interboro, Marple Newtown, Radnor Twp., Ridley, Southeast Delco, Upper Darby, Wallingford and Swarthmore.
DCVMA Advisory Board Member Sheriff Joe McGinn is a lifelong resident of Delaware County. Currently serving his fifth year as Delaware County Sheriff, he served our country in the United States Army and is a Veteran of the Vietnam War. In recognition of his service, Sheriff McGinn was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Stars and the Good Conduct Medal. Speaking about the importance of honoring our wounded warriors, POWs, and heroes, Sheriff McGinn reminded the group of the engraved quote at the top of the DCVM facade “Lest We Forget” as the highly visible reminder for all for generations to come in perpetuity.
The Veterans Memorial will serve the public as an outdoor, open year round, venue/meeting place while also providing a valuable educational experience for all ages. The experience of visiting the Veterans Memorial in Newtown Square will leave visitors with a sense of pride in our country and gratitude for those who fought for our freedom.
With the holidays right around the corner, give your Veteran loved one a Brick to be installed in time for the
May 11, 2013 Dedication Ceremonies. Not only will you receive a certificate suitable for framing to represent
your gift, but you will also receive an invitation to attend The Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony at the
site in Newtown Township, a “once in a lifetime” event.
For more information on how to become part of this exciting project check out www.DelcoVeteransMemorial.com
or e-mail [email protected]