Bolton Secures Future of Memorial to Town’s Veterans
The future of Bolton’s Veterans’ Memorial and park is now secure. At its October meeting, the Town Board adopted a resolution “authorizing the establishment of a permanent Veterans Park Memorial Committee to advise the Town Board regarding maintenance of the Bolton’s Memorial Site including screening and placement of qualified Veteran’s names on the memorial.”
Buck Bryan, who in 2001 spearheaded the renovation of Bolton Landing’s Veterans’ Memorial and the construction of a wall inscribed with the names of Bolton residents who have served in the armed forces, had become concerned about the future of the park earlier this year.
“There are bigger memorials, more grandiose memorials, but none better,” said Bryan. “I want to make certain that it continues to honor Bolton’s Vets.”
To accomplish that, Bryan helped organize a committee to work with the town to supervise the inscription of additional names on the wall and maintain the park, which includes the original World War I monument, a contemporary statue of a Scout, a Battlefield Marker sculpture, a cannon and interpretive plaques.
“Ours is a small but effective committee,” said Bryan.
In addition to Bryan, the committee is composed of Town Historian Ted Caldwell, veterans Fred Brown, Milo Barlow and Ed Scheiber, and representing the Historical Society, Bill Gates. Town Board member Sue Wilson has been appointed to serve as the board’s liaison with the committee.
At the same meeting, the Town Board formalized the new committee and approved the creation of a restricted fund to which individuals can make donations to pay for the inscription of the additional names and the maintenance of the park.
The new committee will submit names to be added to the wall to the Town Board, which is responsible for approving the addition of any names.
To be eligible, an individual must have served in the military “in time of war, conflict or something similar, has been honorably discharged from service, and has demonstrated a strong attachment to Bolton,” said Bryan.
When the wall was dedicated in 2001, 867 names were included. Within a few years, another 57 names were approved and added at a cost of $5,000, said Bryan.
“Since then, there’s been no well-defined process for collecting and approving names before they’re submitted to the Town Board,” said Bryan. “The American Legion lacks the resources to do it; the Bolton Supervisor gets inquiries, the Town Historian gets requests. Now we’ll have a standard procedure.”
Bryan presented a check for $25,000 to the town, which, he said, represented the first installment of a $100,000 contribution to the fund. He donated nearly $200,000 to the reconstruction of the memorial park.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” said Bryan. “It’s time to give something back.”