Veterans Memorial – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 04:15:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://20thcvetsmem.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1.png Veterans Memorial – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ 32 32 Veterans call attention to prisoners of war and MIAs at vigil in downtown Texarkana https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-call-attention-to-prisoners-of-war-and-mias-at-vigil-in-downtown-texarkana/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-call-attention-to-prisoners-of-war-and-mias-at-vigil-in-downtown-texarkana/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 04:08:57 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-call-attention-to-prisoners-of-war-and-mias-at-vigil-in-downtown-texarkana/ TEXARKANA, Texas – Since its inception in 1988, the annual POW-MIA vigil has drawn at least 50 local veterans to its downtown Korea-Vietnam Memorial site, but this year the event offered an extra layer of sense. Greg Beck, president of Texarkana Chapter 278 Vietnam Veterans of America, said government efforts to find and recover U.S. […]]]>

TEXARKANA, Texas – Since its inception in 1988, the annual POW-MIA vigil has drawn at least 50 local veterans to its downtown Korea-Vietnam Memorial site, but this year the event offered an extra layer of sense.

Greg Beck, president of Texarkana Chapter 278 Vietnam Veterans of America, said government efforts to find and recover U.S. military service men and women who were, and still are, classified as prisoners of war or missing, are progressing .

“At the time this vigil began, there were still 2,555 men and women listed as prisoners of war or MIA. Now that number has dropped to 1,585. He said. “I want to encourage everyone here today to ask the government to increase funding to continue this effort, rather than decrease funding.”

In light of the recent withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, Beck said that in addition to efforts to recover POWs and MIAs, attention must now be focused on servicemen whose lives have been abandoned by the federal government, “our military who went to Afghanistan, defended and protected our country for 20 years.

“They fought the terrorists and they did their job very well, but now our current government has just decided to bring us back to where we were before,” he said. “I want to thank all of those veterans who served in Afghanistan, as well as everywhere else. I know that our government that wants to lose Afghanistan hurts because we lost almost 3,000 people there.

Beck, a Vietnam veteran, said he knew what it was like to be abandoned by the government.

“After Vietnam, there were no parades for the veterans,” he said. “All we had was each other, but things finally changed.”

In addition to possibly letting terrorists take over Afghanistan, Beck said some government efforts to help veterans are not exactly what they appear to be.

“There is a plan to increase veterans benefits by 6%,” Beck said. “But at the same time, the plan also calls for increasing taxable income. Each of us must stand up and call Washington.”

After his presentation, Beck asked if there were any Afghan or Iraqi veterans in the rally. Texarkana, Arkansas, US Army resident and Sgt “Cowboy” Sherk has come forward. Beck presented him with two ribbons recognizing his service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I was one of those who saw Kabual (Afghan capital) fall twice,” Sherk said. “The first time was in 2001, when we first got there (captured by the US). The second time I was here, I was watching it on TV not long ago. of time. “

The vigil ended on Saturday evening with a candlelight ceremony at the memorial.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-call-attention-to-prisoners-of-war-and-mias-at-vigil-in-downtown-texarkana/feed/ 0
Silver Lake rulers want to build veterans memorial at village hall https://20thcvetsmem.org/silver-lake-rulers-want-to-build-veterans-memorial-at-village-hall/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/silver-lake-rulers-want-to-build-veterans-memorial-at-village-hall/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:54:15 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/silver-lake-rulers-want-to-build-veterans-memorial-at-village-hall/ SILVER LAKE – Leaders hope to erect a war veterans monument outside the village hall along Kent Road within a year. Mayor Bernie Hovey has said he and others involved in the effort would like to hold a dedication ceremony for the memorial on September 11, 2022. If that deadline cannot be met, the program […]]]>

SILVER LAKE – Leaders hope to erect a war veterans monument outside the village hall along Kent Road within a year.

Mayor Bernie Hovey has said he and others involved in the effort would like to hold a dedication ceremony for the memorial on September 11, 2022. If that deadline cannot be met, the program would take place on Veterans Day. of 2022, according to Hovey.

Preliminary discussions on the project took place at a first meeting of the Veterans Memorial Committee on September 10.

“We all want a simple, yet elegant and moving memorial,” Hovey said.

Donations accepted

On September 7, the village council approved the mayor’s permission to raise and spend funds for the construction of the memorial.

Hovey told council the village will accept contributions for the memorial using the same process they used to raise funds for centennial events in 2018.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/silver-lake-rulers-want-to-build-veterans-memorial-at-village-hall/feed/ 0
NAMI Walk back in person on Saturday in Bettendorf https://20thcvetsmem.org/nami-walk-back-in-person-on-saturday-in-bettendorf/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/nami-walk-back-in-person-on-saturday-in-bettendorf/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:29:07 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/nami-walk-back-in-person-on-saturday-in-bettendorf/ For the first time in two years, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be back on Saturday September 18 in person for the annual NAMIWalk at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf. Pre-walk activities – including kiosks, live music, dog tent, face painting, and team photos – start at 8 […]]]>

For the first time in two years, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be back on Saturday September 18 in person for the annual NAMIWalk at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf.

Pre-walk activities – including kiosks, live music, dog tent, face painting, and team photos – start at 8 a.m. and a 5 km walk begins at 9:30 a.m. along the Bikeway. Last year, 2020, the NAMIWalk was “virtual” – with supporters doing their own activities, raising around $ 70,000.

This year, there are currently 84 teams and 700 people registered, and NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley is expecting just over 1,000 people in total, Development Director Christina McNamara-Schmidt said on Friday. The initial target for 2021 was $ 120,000; The ambitious goal was $ 135,000, and they have already raised $ 129,000, she said.

Many participants will meet at the Veterans Memorial Park, but if they cannot, they can:

  • Walk over 7,000 steps for 5K their way
  • Plan a day of crafts with their children
  • Organize a virtual cooking with their team
  • Take care of yourself with a favorite hobby: yoga, gardening, knitting
  • Do a 5K on a treadmill or stationary bike
  • Create a safe and socially distanced walk in their neighborhood

NAMI recommends that you take photos and videos, and share your activity on your favorite social networks with the link to your walk fundraising page and the hashtag #NotAlone.

Before the pandemic, in any given year, one in five people in the United States reported having a mental health problem. Mental health experts suggest the figure is now two in five or even more, according to NAMI. The marches aim to bring together hundreds of people to raise awareness about mental health and raise funds.

A participant in the 2018 NAMI Walk at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.

On Saturday, due to the continuing effects of Covid-19, NAMI is offering both an in-person and virtual version of its NAMIWalks event.

“It’s been 18 months since the pandemic turned our lives upside down with feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and isolation,” said Christina McNamara-Schmidt, NAMI GMV development and operations manager. “We have all been affected in one way or another. Even though we are geographically isolated, we can be united in our common goal of mental health for all and ensure that no one in our community feels alone, ”she added.

To join NAMIWalks Your Way, visit namiwalks.org/greatermississippivalley. There is no registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged. Registration is also possible on site on Saturday, and donations will be collected. One hundred percent of funds raised support NAMI GMV’s free mental health education and support programs designed to help families recover.

NAMI GMV is part of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/nami-walk-back-in-person-on-saturday-in-bettendorf/feed/ 0
VFW to place memorial in Bloomingdale on Veterans Day https://20thcvetsmem.org/vfw-to-place-memorial-in-bloomingdale-on-veterans-day/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/vfw-to-place-memorial-in-bloomingdale-on-veterans-day/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 10:37:18 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/vfw-to-place-memorial-in-bloomingdale-on-veterans-day/ The Foreign Wars Veterans Post serving Roselle, Bloomingdale and Medinah will unveil a monument in Bloomingdale to honor the deceased veterans during a Veterans Day service on November 11. The marble monument is 8 feet wide and 4 feet high, weighing approximately 5,000 pounds. It will be located near a lookout on Fairfield Way and […]]]>

The Foreign Wars Veterans Post serving Roselle, Bloomingdale and Medinah will unveil a monument in Bloomingdale to honor the deceased veterans during a Veterans Day service on November 11.

The marble monument is 8 feet wide and 4 feet high, weighing approximately 5,000 pounds. It will be located near a lookout on Fairfield Way and Bloomingdale Road, next to the Library and Festival Hall. The monument will have a bald eagle on the front, emblems of the six branches of the armed forces and a message honoring the sacrifice of the men and women who died serving in the military.

On the reverse side there will be a photo of a cemetery and a quote from General George S. Patton saying, “It is stupid and wrong to mourn men who have died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.

The VFW is raising funds for the monument. The lighting and the floral arrangement around the monument will be provided by the village.

“This is a project they have been working on for a long time,” said village president Franco Coladipietro. “It is a great honor to give to our veterans.

Ed Aubin, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Bloomingdale VFW Post 7539, said the monument has cost around $ 30,000 so far. He said the village was very interested in the project.

“Our post thought it was time to see something more visible to recognize all the vets who have sacrificed themselves for our country,” Aubin said. “We are so excited and happy that so many people are getting involved.”

The veterans advocacy group will have people looking for door-to-door donations and other businesses for the monument on Saturday and Sunday. Those wishing to donate can go to vfw7539.org/meeting-highlights/veterans-memorial-donation or email Randy Winter at rdw727@aol.com.

]]> https://20thcvetsmem.org/vfw-to-place-memorial-in-bloomingdale-on-veterans-day/feed/ 0 Governor Murphy takes action on legislation https://20thcvetsmem.org/governor-murphy-takes-action-on-legislation/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/governor-murphy-takes-action-on-legislation/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:15:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/governor-murphy-takes-action-on-legislation/ TRENTON – Today Governor Murphy enacted the following bills: A-5121 / S-3287 (Coughlin, Zwicker, Karabinchak / Singleton, Smith) – Concerns the supply of energy to certain manufacturing facilities by granting exemptions from certain energy-related taxes A-5849 / S-3918 (Carter, Tucker, Vainieri Huttle / Lagana, Turner) – Demands that the DMVA Adjutant General send weekly reports […]]]>

TRENTON – Today Governor Murphy enacted the following bills:

A-5121 / S-3287 (Coughlin, Zwicker, Karabinchak / Singleton, Smith) – Concerns the supply of energy to certain manufacturing facilities by granting exemptions from certain energy-related taxes

A-5849 / S-3918 (Carter, Tucker, Vainieri Huttle / Lagana, Turner) – Demands that the DMVA Adjutant General send weekly reports to the DOH Commissioner on the state of veterans’ homes in the state during each future public health emergency; requires such reports until December 31, 2021

A-5850 / S-3906 (Armato, Mazzeo, Conaway / Gopal, Lagana) – Requires DMVA Veterans Memorial Houses to hold quarterly meetings with Veterans Guardians

A-5851 / S-3905 (Swain, Tully, Freiman / Gopal, Lagana) – Allows the Guardian of the Veteran to remove the Veteran from the AVD Veterans Memorial under certain emergency circumstances

A-5852 / S-3904 (Houghtaling, Johnson, Chaparro / Gopal, Lagana) – Requires DMVA Veterans Memorial Homes to communicate with Guardians of Veterans through at least two communication channels

A-5853 / S-3903 (Danielsen, Mejia, Jimenez / Diegnan, Vitale) – Requires the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the State Veterans Memorial Home to have prior clinical work experience

A-5854 / S-3907 (Mazzeo, Armato, Chaparro / Gopal, Lagana) – Requires the position of Resident Advocate at each State Veterans Memorial Home

A-5855 / S-3908 (Tucker, Speight, Vainieri Huttle / Cruz-Perez) – Requires DMVA veterans facilities to provide payroll based log information to NJ Long Term Care Ombudsman

A-5856 / S-3909 (Zwicker, Jimenez, Conaway / Vitale, Diegnan) – Requires the Director of the Veterans Health Care Services Division of the VADD to have prior clinical and long-term care experience

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/governor-murphy-takes-action-on-legislation/feed/ 0
Middletown demolishes veterans’ pool to make way for new resort https://20thcvetsmem.org/middletown-demolishes-veterans-pool-to-make-way-for-new-resort/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/middletown-demolishes-veterans-pool-to-make-way-for-new-resort/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 23:08:12 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/middletown-demolishes-veterans-pool-to-make-way-for-new-resort/ September 15, 2021 1of11 The demolition of the Veterans Memorial Pool on Walnut Grove Road in Middletown began on September 8, a project expected to cost $ 2 million. The site will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility accessible to ADA, with a new public bath, pavilion, wading pool and more. William Russo / Photo […]]]>

Photo by Cassandre Day


MIDDLETOWN – City demolition crews were at the Veterans Memorial Park last week, leveling the city’s swimming pool to make way for a new, state-of-the-art, $ 2 million facility.

In photos shared by Middletown Director of Public Works William Russo, excavators pounded cement, swept large chunks from the recreation area and toppled the pavilion on September 10.

City officials participated in a “smash” party on August 26, which marked not only the end of the summer season, but also the start of the project. The pool house will be emptied and new lockers installed, as well as a toilet / family / neutral change area.


The area is expected to be ready in time for the 2022 summer season.

The job is paid for with a portion of the $ 33.5 million park bond voters passed in 2015. Internal services will save a lot of money, Russo said.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/middletown-demolishes-veterans-pool-to-make-way-for-new-resort/feed/ 0
Congress Cup sailing begins Wednesday off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier – Orange County Register https://20thcvetsmem.org/congress-cup-sailing-begins-wednesday-off-belmont-veterans-memorial-pier-orange-county-register/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/congress-cup-sailing-begins-wednesday-off-belmont-veterans-memorial-pier-orange-county-register/#respond Mon, 13 Sep 2021 23:53:46 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/congress-cup-sailing-begins-wednesday-off-belmont-veterans-memorial-pier-orange-county-register/ By Jo Murray, Contributing writer Emil Kjaer of the Royal Danish Yacht Club won the 2021 Ficker Cup this weekend, beating a field of eight top match racing skippers from the US and overseas – and securing one of the bottom three spots of this week’s Congress Cup. Americans Jeffrey Petersen and David Wood secured […]]]>

By Jo Murray,

Contributing writer

Emil Kjaer of the Royal Danish Yacht Club won the 2021 Ficker Cup this weekend, beating a field of eight top match racing skippers from the US and overseas – and securing one of the bottom three spots of this week’s Congress Cup.

Americans Jeffrey Petersen and David Wood secured the other two places in the so-called grandfather of regatta match racing, the 56th edition of which is scheduled to begin solemnly on Tuesday, September 13, with the competition taking place in earnest from Wednesday to Sunday in Longue. Beach.

The 2021 Congress Cup and the Ficker Cup are both hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club.

The final day of the Grade 2 Ficker Cup on Sunday saw 20-year-old Dane Kjaer knock down Petersen, 19, in the final 3-1 after beating round robin leader Wood, 20, in the semi-final , also 3-1. in Petersen blanked fellow American Pearson Potts 3-0 in the semifinals, securing his place in the Congress Cup.

Wood, meanwhile, recovered from his semi-final loss and beat Potts 2-0 in the small final – the third-place game – to secure last place in the Congress Cup.

The other Congress Cup skippers are the American Taylor Canfield, four-time Congress Cup champion; 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson, from Sweden; Eric Monnin from Switzerland; Maxime Mesnil from France; Chris Poole from the United States; and Australia’s Sam Gilmour, who finished on the podium in the 2018 Congress Cup.

Monnin and Mesnil are both in the top 10 of the World Sailing ranking. And Poole, who is currently ranked 12, is expected to return to the top 10 when the world rankings are updated on Wednesday, September 15, due to his victory last month at the 2021 Oakcliff International in New York City.

The Congress Cup, which was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and then postponed this year compared to its usual course in April, will begin with a welcome celebration and a training day on Tuesday.

The races will start on Wednesday.

The tournament will follow a double round robin format – each crew will face the other teams twice – before the semi-finals and finals take place this weekend.

The best view is from the Belmont Memorial Veterans Pier. The area next to the pier, 15th to 39th place, is often referred to as the “sail pit row seats” and will feature live commentary, bleachers and golf cart shuttles to and from the pier.

The Congress Cup will also broadcast the races live on its official Facebook page.

Coverage of the Long Beach Yacht Club will include enhanced drone video, on-water interviews, aerial photographs, and expert commentary.

“The daily live racing show is anchored by sailor Katie Pettibone along with a roster of VIP guest commentators,” said Geoffrey Talbot, executive producer of the event’s coverage.

At the time of going to press, the VIP remote guest list included well-known names in sailing and past Congress Cup winners such as Francesco Bruni, Ken Read, Shirley Robertson, Peter Gilmour, Chris Steele, Scotty Dickson, Leonard Takahashi, Will Bouden and Nick Egnot -Johnson.

“The list of comments from VIP guests is expected to grow,” Talbot added, “as the Congress Cup regatta grows. “

Editor’s Note: Jo Murray is a member and historian of the Long Beach Yacht Club.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories related to where you live. Subscribe here.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/congress-cup-sailing-begins-wednesday-off-belmont-veterans-memorial-pier-orange-county-register/feed/ 0
Beatrice Veterans Memorial Park, Hosts Nine-Eleven Celebration https://20thcvetsmem.org/beatrice-veterans-memorial-park-hosts-nine-eleven-celebration/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/beatrice-veterans-memorial-park-hosts-nine-eleven-celebration/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2021 18:52:38 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/beatrice-veterans-memorial-park-hosts-nine-eleven-celebration/ BEATRICE – The citizens of Beatrice gathered to hear a first respondent’s perspective on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, which sparked a war on terrorism.The Veterans Memorial Park was the scene of a ceremony on Saturday morning, attended by veterans, police officers and firefighters. The head of Beatrice Fire and Rescue gave […]]]>

BEATRICE – The citizens of Beatrice gathered to hear a first respondent’s perspective on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, which sparked a war on terrorism.
The Veterans Memorial Park was the scene of a ceremony on Saturday morning, attended by veterans, police officers and firefighters. The head of Beatrice Fire and Rescue gave the address.

“As the 20th anniversary of one of America’s darkest days approaches, it’s also time to reflect on the world’s greatest nation, which is occupied by the greatest people on earth. United are this shining lighthouse at the top of the hill. For those who occupy fire stations, police stations, military bases, schools, grocery stores, town halls … they should all be proud of the society in which we live and the role we play in the United States is tremendous. We honor the sacrifices of those who have gone before us … to never forget … knowing that when we will be faced with that moment to do the right thing , we will prove our worth. “

Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake recalled the shocked expressions of his service members on the day the New York Twin Towers were shot down … the Pentagon attack … and the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Half-length flag raising at Veterans Memorial Park

Daake said he didn’t personally know the firefighters, police and rescue personnel who rushed to the Twin Towers that day… all have something in common… a brotherhood.

“While it was a most tragic day in our history, it also showed what true Americanism really is. There were a lot of heroes that day… felt like a firefighter or a New York City police officer, watching the towers on fire, knowing that this might be your last act, on earth. gear … encouraging those who were able to save themselves, to do so. climb the stairs with your crew to help those who could never help themselves. They came in, not to be heroes …. but because they were there to serve their community and help those who were ‘they could save. “

The nine-to-eleven ceremony was hosted by the Gage County Veterans Office, Duty Officer Scott Bates, Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and led by United States Marine Corps Veteran, Tim Fralin… a Beatrice city councilor. Fralin urged people to spread hatred everywhere… it’s time to come together.

“Let’s go back to where we were twenty years ago. It’s a great community. We have the greatest people on earth, here in this community. Let us all be united, to be one.”

Pastor Suzanne How speaking on Remembrance Day blesses US firefighters, police and military “who run into danger to keep innocent and vulnerable people safe.”

Gage County Veterans at Veterans Memorial Park

Gage County Veterans at Veterans Memorial Park

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/beatrice-veterans-memorial-park-hosts-nine-eleven-celebration/feed/ 0
Mattis speaks on leadership at the WSU Veterans Memorial Library https://20thcvetsmem.org/mattis-speaks-on-leadership-at-the-wsu-veterans-memorial-library/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/mattis-speaks-on-leadership-at-the-wsu-veterans-memorial-library/#respond Wed, 08 Sep 2021 18:18:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/mattis-speaks-on-leadership-at-the-wsu-veterans-memorial-library/ Richland, WA “To improve the lives of others. “ Sgt. Dietrich Schmieman’s words can be found in the Heroes Tree on the Tri-Cities campus of Washington State University. The Richland native died in 2017 when his military cargo plane crashed in Mississippi, but his message lives on for those who visit the new WSU Veterans […]]]>

“To improve the lives of others. “

Sgt. Dietrich Schmieman’s words can be found in the Heroes Tree on the Tri-Cities campus of Washington State University.

The Richland native died in 2017 when his military cargo plane crashed in Mississippi, but his message lives on for those who visit the new WSU Veterans Memorial on the Richland campus.

His parents and another Richland native, retired General James Mattis, were on hand Tuesday for the dedication.

“The essence of leadership is serving others,” Mattis told the rally. “… Forget all the leadership theory you read in business school. “

The former US Secretary of Defense came to the Richland campus for the unveiling of the expanded Veterans Memorial and a new leadership library named in his honor.

The Stories Veterans Memorial features a sculpture inscribed with stories of local veterans. It was originally installed in 2012.

The expansion includes a new concrete base, flag poles for the American flag and flags from all service branches. And the Schmieman family donated benches for the site.

And the leadership library is part of a renovation of the campus veterans center.

The library was made possible through the efforts of C. Mark Smith and the Richland Rotary Club of the Tri-Cities. It houses books cited by Mattis in his autobiography, “Call Sign Chaos”.

The effort was initiated by veterans and WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes.

Mattis’ playlist draws inspiration from all of history, such as Ulysses S. Grant’s memoir, “My American Journey” by Colin Powell, and “Meditations” by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Mattis said the challenges these leaders have faced are timeless.

And he said that the quality of a leader can determine the strength and performance of an organization.

“Life is too short to learn everything from experience,” Mattis told reporters after the event. “In these books we can find situations similar to those we face today. … We can study how women and men in the past have handled situations successfully or not.

Cameron Probert covers the latest news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why the police and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communication at Washington State University.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/mattis-speaks-on-leadership-at-the-wsu-veterans-memorial-library/feed/ 0
The Onderdonk Prize goes to the Northeast POW-MIA Network https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-onderdonk-prize-goes-to-the-northeast-pow-mia-network/ https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-onderdonk-prize-goes-to-the-northeast-pow-mia-network/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 22:23:45 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-onderdonk-prize-goes-to-the-northeast-pow-mia-network/ First Liberty Institute President and CEO Kelly Shackleford returned two decades ago during his presentation at the American Legion National Convention in Phoenix on September 1. “It was almost 20 years ago when we realized something was going on in the country,” Shackleford said. “There have been attacks on some of our monuments. First, these […]]]>

First Liberty Institute President and CEO Kelly Shackleford returned two decades ago during his presentation at the American Legion National Convention in Phoenix on September 1.

“It was almost 20 years ago when we realized something was going on in the country,” Shackleford said. “There have been attacks on some of our monuments. First, these are the Ten Commandments. We realized that there would be attacks on our veterans memorials. It was just a sign of what was to come.

First Liberty contacted former national judge advocate Philip B. Onderdonk, who agreed and the two organizations worked together to protect several prominent veterans memorials from destruction. Among them:

Mount Soledad: The Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial was designed in 1952 by American Legion Post 275 of La Jolla, California to honor Korean War veterans. A 27-foot cross at the top of Soledad Natural Park in La Jolla was built in honor of the American servicemen who died during the two world wars and the Korean conflict. The case was the subject of various lower court decisions, but the memorial ultimately prevailed. “This memorial still stands,” Shackleford said. “And you can still see that memorial today.”

Mojave Desert: The memorial was erected in 1934 by veterans of the First World War “who just wanted to put something in place to remember those who were lost in this war”. First Liberty and the American Legion won a case in the Supreme Court, which allowed the memorial to continue to exist, although the ruling revolved around technical issues.

Bladensburg Peace Cross: Two years ago, the American Legion and First Liberty returned to the nation’s highest court in a case involving the 40-foot Bladensburg Veterans Memorial Cross of Peace. The memorial was erected in 1925 by Gold Star Mothers and the American Legion to honor 49 sons who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I. The judges ruled for the American Legion, 7-2. “It wasn’t just a victory for the Bladensburg center,” Shackleford said. “It set a precedent. It was truly a historic victory that all memorials and monuments across our country were presumed constitutional and that these attacks were ended. It’s a huge change.

However, there are other pending cases, Shackleford pointed out.

One concerns a POW-MIA missing men table that was set up in a VA hospital by the Northeast POW-MIA network. Included on the table is a Bible. The lawsuit calls for the Bible to be removed from the exhibition.

“The man who donated the Bible was in a German POW camp for almost a year,” Shackleford said. “He said the Bible was what got him through that experience. He wanted to donate this Bible for this exhibit.

To honor the struggle of the POW-MIA Network, Shackleford presented the organization’s president, David Haskell, with the Philip B. Onderdonk Jr. Religious Freedom Award on the stage at the national convention. The prize is a gold-plated Henry Repeating rifle engraved with images of a bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.

The award is presented annually to someone who has done the most for religious freedom in the United States.

Haskell thanked North Conway Post 95 in New Hampshire for their help in setting up the table at the VA in Manchester, NH. He credited Bob Jones with starting the network from American Legion Post 49 in Vermont 34 years ago.

“The Manchester VA table is a symbol of what we will stand for forever, until all of our POWs and MIAs have returned home safely,” Haskell said.

Shackleford reminded attendees that the legal battle will continue.

“We are so proud to be with the American Legion,” he said. “We’re going to keep fighting until we win. These are the battles to come.

]]>
https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-onderdonk-prize-goes-to-the-northeast-pow-mia-network/feed/ 0