Hampden Township looks into veterans memorial

Following the lead of neighboring Silver Spring Township, Hampden Township is rolling out the carpet for future construction of a planned veterans memorial in the township.

Although still in the preliminary stages, the township is currently working to establish a veterans recognition committee, which would spearhead the planning of the memorial, as well as other future veteran-related events.

Ways to pay tribute

The idea for a veterans memorial and committee was first brought before the board by Commissioner Nate Silcox earlier this spring.

“I was born and raised in this area, and we just don’t have the types of ceremonies, parades and such for veterans,” Silcox explained. “When I saw that Silver Spring Township had established a veterans memorial committee, I thought that was an idea that was worth replicating in Hampden Township.”

At their April 29 meeting, the board of commissioners approved a resolution establishing the committee, which will consist of seven members, appointed by the board, and each of whom will serve a five-year term.

The purpose of the committee will be to make recommendations and provide advice and ideas to the board regarding the recognition of veterans in the township. In addition, the committee will provide and increase public awareness of township veterans, make recommendations for the establishment of a veterans memorial and assist in raising funds to finance the memorial.

“They’re going to be tasked with coming up with ideas, brainstorming, soliciting and coming up with initial concepts, and putting together recommendations to the township,” Silcox said. “They’ll also be tasked with raising the funds necessary to build the memorial.

In addition, he explained, the township hopes the committee will come up with other ways to pay tribute to the area’s veterans.

“Right now we’re accepting letters of interest, and then the board will appoint a certain number of members – one of whom will be recommended by the commander of the Navy Depot (in Mechanicsburg),” Hampden Township Executive Secretary Sharon Browne said of the process.

‘A win-win’ situationAccording to Silcox, the area’s rich military history makes it an ideal place for the memorial, which he said will encompass every branch of the armed forces and all of the wars the United States has fought in.