Never forget How the SVMA, along with the Schoeneck community, will continue to honor our veterans

By on March 6, 2013

By: LUCY RICCOMINI Review Staff, Staff Writer

In 1945, men and women from across the country, including members of the small community of Schoeneck, answered calls to be deployed to World War II. As family and friends patiently waited, servicemen and women slowly came home. In the case of Schoeneck District and West Cocalico Township, each and every one of its soldier came home — which was nothing short of a miracle.

While soldiers protected our country, groups like the Ladies Auxiliary in Schoeneck raised money to construct a memorial to show their gratitude and appreciation. While the women collected donations, men and other residents constructed the memorial and presented it to the soldiers in 1947 thanking them for their service and celebrating their homecoming

The Schoeneck Veterans Memorial Association (SVMA) is a small group made up of only a handful of members who act as representatives for all of us who are grateful for those who serve our country. They are the people who dedicate time to honoring those who serve our country. Some SVMA members are family members and friends of those who served or are serving in the war. And some of the members are humbled by the acts of courage from our soldiers and simply want to thank them for their service.

In 2008, the SVMA decided to reconstruct, redevelop and relocate the memorial when its original location was compromised. The group collectively decided to relocate it to the entrance of the Schoeneck Park in order to preserve it. The SVMA felt it was not only important to save the memorial, but also as a means to remember those who dedicated themselves to our country and never forget the sacrifices the men and women made for our country.

For some time, the pieces of the original memorial were kept in storage until Memorial Day in 2009 when a groundbreaking at the park was held. The repositioned memorial was virtually cut in half, rebuilt with the original materials and now serves as the entranceway to the park. The old materials were refurbished and a new plaque was added.

As if time was repeating itself, local residents rallied together and donated time, money, and materials to once again honor their veterans with a renewed memorial. The same stones that were rolled down from the hills of Schoeneck were reused as well as the decorative stone balls and the original plaque with the names of the local soldiers.

On May 30, 2011, Schoeneck Veterans Memorial Association revealed its new memorial to the community. Hundreds gathered for the dedication — history was repeating itself as people came from all over to honor our soldiers and thank them for serving and protecting the country.

Two years later, the SVMA continues to dedicate itself to preserving the memorial and remembering our veterans. In order for the memorial to remain in its current state, it needs consistent upkeep. Expenses include insurance, flags, lighting, and other miscellaneous items. The club is asking the community to rally together once again and help preserve this important piece of history.

From the largest to the smallest donations, every bit helps to preserve the monument. The members of SVMA are dedicated to preserving the memorial, but they need help from others. Showing your support doesn’t have to be substantial. A small donation for the upkeep will go far. It’s important that the community conserves the memorial so that we never forget those who served and also are reminded how they all came home.

To make a donation, send a check made to the SVMA at 875 Wollups Hill Road, Stevens, PA 17578. In the memo of the check, be sure to identify what the donation is for. The SVMA also sells engraved bricks, photos of the old memorial, DVDs of the 2011 rededication, pins, and more. For more information, call 333-9651.

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