Hamilton Unveils Merchant Marine Memorial in Veterans Park
During World War II, U.S. Merchant Marines – civilian mariners who were activated during times of war as an auxiliary to the United States Armed Forces – suffered more casualties than any branch of the military. Recently, Hamilton Township unveiled a memorial in Veterans Park to acknowledge their service and sacrifices throughout the history of our nation.
Recently, Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede and the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee officially dedicated the new United States Merchant Marines Memorial Monument, during a morning ceremony. The monument is located inside the Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road Entrance to Veterans Park, next to Hamilton’s U.S. Navy Memorial and where – later this year – Hamilton plans to unveil a memorial to honor the U.S. Coast Guard.
The ceremony included remarks by Mayor Yaede, COL (USA Retired) Robert E. Watson, President of the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee, musical performances by the Hamilton West High School Select Choir, under the Direction of James Fillmore, an invocation by Deacon James Challender of Our Lady of Sorrows – Saint Anthony Parish, and participation by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps – John T. Dempster, Jr. Division, the Twin Pines Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and Boy Scout Troop #91.
In addition to the Patriotic Committee’s efforts along with Mayor Yaede and Hamilton’s Departments of Public Works and Community Planning and Compliance, the project was made possible thanks to the assistance and contributions by EP Henry – HeroScaping Project, Mershon Concrete, Gres Paving, CSM (USA Retired) Tom Slowinski, Bricklayers Unions #4 & #5, as well as many patriotic citizens who contributed to the project.
“This is a wonderful and very fitting tribute to the many civilian mariners who have made the ultimate sacrifices alongside our military throughout the course of our nation’s history. I was also very moved that we were joined during the ceremony by a widow of a fallen merchant marine,” said Mayor Yaede. “I also want to thank the Patriotic Committee for their tireless efforts to promote patriotism through projects like this, as well as all of the local businesses, organizations, employees and citizens who played a vital role in bringing this memorial monument to Veterans Park.”