Monday May 27, 2013
Deptford residents gathered near Oak Valley School Sunday afternoon for a dedication ceremony at the new Veterans Memorial Park on College Boulevard.
The day began with a parade that ran through the Oak Valley section of the township from the Oak Valley firehouse. More than 1,000 veterans from Deptford were personally invited to attend. In addition to the dedication ceremony, the event included a barbecue, raffle and classic car show.
The 10-acre park is situated on land donated to the township by the Deptford school board in 2011. It includes a walking path and monuments for each branch of the armed forces.
The highlight of the park is a special monument designed by artist and Deptford resident Frank Seder, who donated his time to the project. Construction first began in March. According to Mayor Paul Medany, the monument, which depicts an American flag made out of paver bricks, is the first of its kind in the country.
“He has put in countless hours,” Medany said of Seder. “This is his gift to the veterans and, obviously, it’s quite a gift to the township. He designed something that’s unique. The cutter who cut the bricks has never done a design like this.”
It was Councilman Joe Scott who first pitched the idea for a memorial park on the site. Scott said, however, that bringing the project to fruition was a community-wide effort. Materials were donated by Hardscaping manufacturer EP Henry, and much of the labor that went into putting the park together was volunteer-driven.
“People drive by and want to help,” said Scott. “That’s what makes a town. That’s what makes this country. There’s no politics involved, it’s just people helping people.”
The township plans to display the names of more than 30 Deptford residents who were killed in action in conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War.
“I just think that we owe them,” Scott said.\
Source: Andy Polhamus, nj.com