Bradford County Veteran's Memorial Park

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Hello all: I wanted to add my two cents to this great forum by adding a few items of interest you may not know. 
1- Any veteran from any era, peacetime or war can be honored in this park with the sponsorship of a granite paver - large or small. 
2- Our goal is to honor all veterans, even as far back as the Revolutionary War so dig into those old scrapbooks and tell us about great grandpa Henry or whoever. 
3- Any veteran from Bradford County who was KIA or MIA or POW or who has received the Purple Heart will be honored in the park for free as a service long overdue to those [unsung?] heroes. To take advantage of this service you will have to call the number listed on the site or use the "contact us" button. Other than that, this is my first visit to the site and it looks fabulous.

- Joe Doherty, Founder, BCVMPA


Dear Joe,
Seeing the names of my Uncles , father and brother truly gave me a lift today. You never gave up. I love your selection of flowers I may have some special day lilies for you this fall. Many Thankks

- Joseph Dupont - Facebook


The Memorial is a huge accomplishment and a great addition to our town. Perseverance paid off ! Thanks Joe !!

- Pat Hoover - Facebook

Reprinted with permission from The Rocket Courier:

Park Dedication Brings Enthusiastic Response

By Rick Hiduk

One would never have guessed that several key elements of the April 6 dedication of the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park (BCVMP) came together at the last minute as key organizer Joe Doherty suggested. The event was as flawless as the weather, and several hundred people showed up to participate or witness the celebration.

Now that the American flag and flags representing each branch of the military and POW/MIAs have been officially raised, the focus has been reverted to raising the funds needed to complete the ambitious project. The end result will be a stellar gateway to Towanda at the west end of the Veterans Memorial Bridge and a fitting tribute to the thousands of men and women who served their country in the armed forces.

Doherty heads the BCVMP committee and spoke several times at the event, but he left most of the speaking duties to Troy mayor and American Legion representative Mike Powers and keynote speaker and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Beasley.

Additional participants included local scouts, a color guard and rifle squad comprised of AmVets of Rome and members of the VFW of Towanda, Rep. Tina Pickett, Towanda Mayor Garrett Miller, and all three Bradford County Commissioners. Many other public officials and civic leaders were in attendance.

The ceremony was by no means easy to pull off. Powers’ fellow radio personnel from Wiggle 100 synchronized a musical collage of the five military themes in conjunction of the raising of each flag by a veteran perched on a the narrow wall that supports the flag poles.

The parade of flag bearers, riflemen, scouts, veterans and family members was coordinated along the Merrill Parkway under the bridge and had to rely on hand signal cues from above due to an excessive amount of industry-related traffic that passed through the intersection during the event.

Many of the speakers made reference to Bradford County ancestors, some reaching back to the Revolutionary War, and placed special emphasis on those who did not return from conflicts abroad.

Under the cloudless blue sky, Beasley asked those in attendance to discount the ruling by the U.S. Supreme court more than two decades ago that desecration of the American flag is okay. It is not a matter of principal, Beasley asserted, “Respect for the flag is a matter of the heart.”

Jay Cory reprised his role as Benjamin Franklin for the event, noting that the real Philadelphia statesman formed the first Pennsylvania Militia in 1756. A moderate breeze lifted the flags as Cory read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

“This vacant lot will be turned into one of downtown Towanda’s most important features,” said Cory, who was among the speakers to remind those in attendance that the work was far from over.

“This memorial is the least we can do to say ‘Thank You,’” Commissioner Daryl Miller said of the many veterans the park is meant to honor.

“I’m so proud to have this in our town,” said Miller, who gave Doherty a hardy hug as the mayor finished his brief statements.

Neil Diamond’s “America” played as the event officially came to an end, but attendees were slow to leave, meandering the grounds instead and shaking the hands of participants.

Standing on the outer fringes of the park, Ridgebury Township resident Ken Cook was overheard saying, “I never had the privilege to serve this country,” noting that his father came home from World War II when Cook was just five. He was impressed with details such as the solar-powered uplighting at the base of each flagpole.

In fact, there are an enormous number of details and special features included in the full design for the park, which can be viewed online Instructions can also be found at the website for making donations for the continuation of the project.

-Rick Hiduk - Rocket Courier