There are many symbols that are iconic with the Fourth of July but none more recognizable or important than the American Flag. On the holiday marking the founding of our country, we’ll see the flag proudly carried in parades, lining streets, displayed at homes, and elsewhere. We look to the flag as a symbol of freedom, and it tells a story of our country's history.
There is one spot in particular where an American Flag proudly waves that is worthy of a visit this summer. You don't have to travel to Washington D.C. to see a notable monument that pays homage to our veterans. Veterans Memorial Grove in Erie County’s Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood is a moving tribute to all veterans, including the recently installed Vietnam veterans' wall.
If you have never been by Memorial Grove, I encourage you to plan a visit to the park this summer. Set near a picturesque pond, the memorial includes a tall, stone memorial honoring all branches of the military and prisoners of war who are still missing in action. The dedication on the memorial reads, “Who they were, what they sacrificed and how much they loved each other.” Those words echo through my head when I visit the site.
In addition to the original stone memorial is the newly installed Vietnam veterans’ wall. It was created by a group of veterans that spent years planning the memorial to honor Erie County residents who were killed or are MIA in Vietnam. This past Memorial Day, a ceremony was held to dedicate the memorial and to invite residents to visit Veterans Memorial Grove to reflect and pay their respects.
It took a great deal of effort for the volunteers to coordinate the addition of the Vietnam wall and I want to thank them for taking the time to ensure our community properly honored local soldiers who sacrificed their lives while serving.
For directions to Sprague Brook Park, please visit the county's website at www.erie.gov/parks or contact my office at 858-8850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. While visiting the memorial, you will find hiking paths, camp sites, picnic areas and more to enjoy at the park.
Communities throughout Erie County have erected impressive veteran memorials. From the downtown Naval Park to Springville’s Civil War Monument to Orchard Park’s veterans’ memorial in the village, we honor our bravest and remember the significant moments that have occurred over the past 237 years. Today we continue to all live under the guidance of the American Flag and I hope you all find a moment this holiday to reflect on what that means to you personally.
I look forward to attending the many Fourth of July festivities planned in my district and wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day celebration. Please remember to thank our veterans and active servicemen and women.