I am a 12th grade Ambassador Girl Scout in Perry County, PA. I decided as a final “project”, to design a memorial wall that would honor the military men & women of Perry County, who have been killed in action, since WWI. I strongly believe that they need to be remembered by everyone, because whether or not they agreed with everything our country has said or done, they were willing to stand, fight and ultimately gave their lives for our country. The memorial wall will recognize their sacrifice, honor their families, and give those who pass by the wall, a chance to think about what the freedoms we often take for granted, sadly costs.
I guess you could say I was raised around the military. When I was 5 years old, my oldest brother, Mark Steele, enlisted in the Marine Corp. The following year, my family attended Lance Corporal Jason Frye’s funeral. He was a Marine just like my brother. I couldn’t even imagine losing my brother or what losing a sibling, or spouse or child would be like. Two years later, my second oldest brother, Nick Steele, enlisted in the Army. Both of my brother’s deployed throughout their years in the military to war zones in Iraq & Afghanistan…both lost good friends to snipers, IED’s, etc…people I had often seen pictures of and heard stories about. They were real people, important to their families, friends & community, just like my brothers are important to me.
This past Memorial Day (2016), like most Memorial Days, everyone around me was talking about their plans for the long weekend…about picnics, swimming, parties and family get togethers. I’m the Color-Guard Captain at NHS, and the band was excited to participate in the Memorial Day parade. I couldn’t help to think about what Memorial Day is really about, and about the men & women that it commemorates.
Over Memorial Day weekend I started thinking about designing a memorial. As time went on and summer arrived, I was still rolling ideas around in my head about what kind of memorial that I could do. I made a lot of sketches and the internet gave me lots of ideas which I combined. I was excited, but let’s face it…a memorial like I want to do is a huge project. Bigger than anything that I’ve ever done. At the same time, scaling down the project or the design I had come up with, somehow didn’t seem to honor these men, women and families like I wanted to either. After talking to my family, and different people in my community, I realized that the memorial wall project is something everyone can get behind, and that we can make the memorial wall a reality together.
After meeting with the Perry County Commissioners and New Bloomfield Borough, it was decided that the grassy area across from the courthouse should remain an open marketplace. Several people & organizations reached out and offered locations. After speaking to them and looking at all of the locations, I decided that the lot across from Blue Mountain Outfitters, on 11/15 in Marysville, was the best possible location. A big thank-you to Marysville Borough for donating this lot and agreeing to take on the future upkeep of the memorial.
The Perry County Memorial Wall will be dedicated right after the Marysville Veteran's Day parade in 2018.
Listed below are fundraising events & locations where the PCMW will have information booths
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