CLARENCE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The new Clarence Veterans Memorial was officially dedicated this Memorial Day in Main Street Town Park.
The town was supposed to unveil the memorial last year, but it was delayed due to COVID-19. Now the American Flag and flags from all five branches of the military fly high above the memorial.
The Memorial was developed to honor those with ties to Clarence who served our country, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Among those whose name is on the memorial is Clarence native Andrew Byers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan while performing rescue efforts in 2016.
“One of our friends happened to be with Andrew’s twin sister Lauren and she’d mentioned she would love a place in Clarence where you could honor the veterans by name, you know, we had some memorials but really nothing on the scale that you see behind us," Clarence Rotary Foundation Former President Anne Gaume said.
There are more than 400 names on the memorial. The center wall of the memorial has 55 names of those killed in action, dating back to the War of 1812.
Daniel Gamin was born in Clarence, and spent most of his life there. He said he's thankful the memorial is in Clarence. His name is on the wall.
“I’m glad to see that it’s on the wall of honor with all the others that have served and are still serving," Gamin said.
Theodore R. Adrian served in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, his name is on the wall too.
“A super honor," Adrian said. "Thank everyone, and what a job our town has done to honor its veterans, and military, and people who made the supreme sacrifice.”
He's joined on the wall by his son.
“My son was in the Air Force for 30 years, and he’s on the wall too, and it’s really quite an honor," Adrian said.
The Clarence Rotary Foundation worked to create this permanent gathering place to pay tribute to those who served our country.