A Memorial to Veterans

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HONESDALE -- A group in Wayne County wants to preserve the memories of countless veterans, so they are canvassing cemeteries and plan to build a memorial by Veterans Day.

Kim Erickson has been spending a lot of time in cemeteries in Wayne County lately and for good reason. Erickson is spearheading the effort to find veterans buried in more than 150 cemeteries across the county.

"Each night I get a minimum of 12 calls a night which I try to return. That gets me more excited on the project," she said.

Erickson has enlisted the help of volunteers to scour the cemeteries for veterans' markers so she can put together a list that will be part of a veterans walk of honor.

"The hardest part right now is trying to get the most accurate list of veterans and the only rule is they have to be buried in a Wayne County cemetery or born in Wayne County and in a national cemetery."

By Veterans Day in November, the group plans to have the memorial in place outside the Wayne County Courthouse in downtown Honesdale in order to pay tribute to sacrifices made by veterans who served from Wayne County.

"We thought we would do something to honor veterans in Wayne County, such a large veterans presence in Wayne County," said Melissa Rickard, president of the Wayne County Business and Professional Women.

Rickard showed Newswatch 16 what the Walk of Honor will look like.

Before it can be built, the painstaking work of walking cemeteries and cataloging each veteran must be done. And the group is asking some to help out in return for the sacrifices made by each one of these veterans.

"Whether it was war-time or not, they were willing to put their hand up and say I’m giving up this portion of my life for this country," said Erickson.

The group behind the Veterans Walk of Honor has received numerous offers to help build the memorial, but Erickson said there will still be a need to help on many fronts.

She can be reached at 570-251-7741 or kimeric1967@yahoo.com