Tonawanda News — Town of Tonawanda residents who responded to the call to serve in the Korean War were honored by the community at a ceremony on Thursday evening.
The ceremony, held at the Veterans Monument in Kenney Field, not only served as a “thank you” to veterans for their service from the community, but also as the unveiling of a Blue Star Memorial Marker donated to the Town of Tonawanda by the Kenmore Garden Club with the help of the Eighth District Federated Garden Club.
“We’re here to honor all of the veterans who are here tonight and all those currently serving, putting their lives on the line to ensure the freedoms we’ll be celebrating tomorrow,” said Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana, reminding the veterans that neither their service nor the Korean War had been forgotten.
Several hundred area residents turned out to celebrate the 250 local veterans who were present at Kenney Field Thursday. Aside from Caruana, speeches were given by Councilman Dan Crangle, former Sheriff Tom Higgins and others.
“This is the seventh Blue Star Memorial Marker in Western New York, addressing the audience,” said Maryann Jumper, director of the Eighth District Federated Garden Club. “We are so proud, and we thank you all for your service and for your continued service. It’s an honor for us to continue to recognize your service with today’s dedication.”
The Blue Star Memorial Program began in the 1940s to honor World War II veterans by planting trees, according to the National Garden Clubs’ website. Over time the plaques were placed throughout the U.S. at locations such as national cemeteries, parks or veterans’ facilities.
The wind picked up and a brief rainstorm hit the ceremony just before the names of each of the 250 veterans were to be read. A 15-minute break was taken to wait it out, while some audience members scattered to seek shelter.