New World War II Memorial Dedicated in Curwensville

Brig. Gen. Murray A. Neeper, who is retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard, addresses the crowd during the dedication ceremony Sunday for the new World War II Memorial in Curwensville.  (Photo by Julie Rae Rickard)

Brig. Gen. Murray A. Neeper, who is retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard, addresses the crowd during the dedication ceremony Sunday for the new World War II Memorial in Curwensville. (Photo by Julie Rae Rickard)

CURWENSVILLE – A large crowd filled Veteran’s Memorial Park in Curwensville Sunday as a new monument honoring the veterans of World War II was dedicated.

This is the third monument for the park that features the famous “Doughboy” monument that was dedicated in 1925 and the Pennsylvania Bucktail Monument that honors the men who served in the Civil War.

“It is time we recognize the sacrifices of all those who have bravely served our Country during World War II. Soon all of our living World War II Veterans will no longer be with us. It is important to construct a memorial that honors the living as well as deceased veterans of World War II,” Douglas Bloom and John Catalano said in a letter sent out to start the fundraising campaign by the Curwensville Area WW II Memorial Committee.

Other members of that committee were David Lezzer, Dan Russell and Carolyn Rowles.

It took only about 18 months to raise the $80,000 needed for the memorial, according to Bloom. This included a grant of $25,000 from the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority. The sandstone used was donated by Russell Stone Products.

Among the crowd Sunday were 14 veterans of WW II who were presented with a plaque made of the same local sandstone.

Brig. Gen. Murray A. Neeper, who is retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard, was the guest speaker at the dedication.

“Curwensville remembers and cares about their veterans,” he said commenting on the crowd.

He mentioned Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation,” which is about the extraordinary people who lived through the depression and WW II. It’s only been recently, Neeper said that veterans of that war have begun to speak.

“Their stories do not come easily,” Neeper noted, explaining that many veterans do not want to talk about their experiences.

He suggested that family members “put them in front of a camera or recorder” because “we need to save these stories.”

When Cynthia Russell of the Curwensville-Pike Township Historical Society spoke, she thanked Bloom and Catalano for their time spent researching the 993 names on the monument. Further, 21 of these people lost their lives in the war.

“These people walked these same streets and called Curwensville their home,” she noted. She also thanked the veterans for their service, and the community for their contributions to making the memorial a reality.

The center stone of the new WWII Memorial features a detailed drawing of men in action in addition to some of the names of those who served in the war. There are three stones in all with a total of 993 names. The memorial was designed by Jennie Ryan-Gisewhite. (Photo by Julie Rae Rickard)

The center stone of the new WWII Memorial features a detailed drawing of men in action in addition to some of the names of those who served in the war. There are three stones in all with a total of 993 names. The memorial was designed by Jennie Ryan-Gisewhite. (Photo by Julie Rae Rickard)

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