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June 2013 Column - Sprague Brook Park Veterans Memorial Grove worthy of a visit this summer


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Erie County Legislator John Mills announces that the Legislature has approved a proclamation in support of the 6th annual RecruitNY, encouraging residents to consider joining their local fire company, which are in critical need of...

Most everyone is guilty of this – storing unwanted or expired medications in our homes for months or even years, which can be very dangerous. While others flush them down the toilet, causing problems for our waterways. The solution to both...

Erie County Legislature Chairman John Mills announces that tours of the County's maple syrup production will be held in April.

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills reminds anyone interested in ordering trees, shrubs or seeds that the deadline for the 2016 Conservation Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale is Friday, March 18.

Being a grandparent of eight keeps me extremely busy. It has been a joy to be involved in my grandkids’ activities, but one of the hobbies I look forward to most is being able to fish in the summer with them. At their young ages they have...

oneilj - Posted on 02 July 2013

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 john.mills@erie.gov. 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.