Tonawanda News — A testament to those wounded in American conflicts will be put in place in North Tonawanda a matter of weeks and at no cost to the city.
Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart John Paul Bobo Chapter 264 will dedicate a monument that is now being erected at Raymond Klimek Veterans Park. The structure, which is four-feet by four feet, is being constructed along a footpath near River Road, while a bench, flowers and lighting are also being added.
The initiative began when one member, Terry Partsch, a Vietnam Veteran and Lumber City resident, contacted City Hall earlier this year to express interest in placing the monument somewhere in the city.
In June, members of the order and Mayor Rob Ortt met to discuss the location, choosing a spot where several other monuments are already in place, including a Marine Corps Memorial and the Seabees Memorial.
Partsch and 60 members of his outfit raised roughly $6,000 to construct a Purple Heart monument, using a model from similar memorials across the country, including the Buffalo Naval and Servicemen’s Park.
Mike Targon, commander of the local chapter and Vietnam veteran wounded in combat, said the gesture will be used to advance the group’s mission, which is to “foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support necessary legislative initiatives, and most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families.”
Ortt said federal, state and local officials will gather at the finished monument on Oct. 12.
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.