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Penndel American Legion Post 436 to refurbish Veteran’s Memorial with new wall and walkway

by Stewart Gross

The Penndel Veteran’s Memorial was built in the late 1940’s by the Penndel American Legion with donations made by the borough. It was dedicated to veterans of the two great wars, WWI and WWII.  The monument has deteriorated over the years and The Penndel A.L. Post 436 is about to restore it with donations from families of veteran’s from the surrounding township and boroughs.

They plan to erect a new memorial wall at the Veteran’s Memorial site, surrounded by a brick walkway which they hope to break ground on this coming fall and have completed in time for Memorial Day 2022. 

The A.L. Penndel Memorial Wall Committee plans to build the walkway with engraved bricks exhibiting the names of and honoring servicemen and women from each family who purchases one.

The Legion will sell the bricks on the walkway to families of veterans from Penndel and the surrounding areas.

Families can have the names of all of their family members who have served in any branch of the U.S. Military engraved on the bricks along with information about the conflicts they proudly served in.

They expect single-sized bricks to sell for $100 and double-sized bricks to sell for $175.  Families purchasing engraved bricks will also receive a certificate to keep as an heirloom.

Members of the Penndel A.L. Post 436, located at 152 Monroe Avenue, conceived of the project in 2020 and started to officially work with the borough council in January of 2021.  They have worked with an architect who has generated a drawing of the proposed project and spoken with various contractors to cost-out the project.

The Penndel Memorial Wall Committee consists of Committee Chairman Jerry McHugh, former Post Commander Jack Pashley, Robert Niemczyk, Treasurer Paul Shanahan, and Pamela Otto, Designer, a resident of Penndel Borough since 1983, who feels it paramount to honor our veterans, especially in honor of her father, Stanley Raymond, Korean War and her father-in-law, Frank Otto, WWII.

The committee members themselves have a very impressive record of service to the United States. Sgt. First Class McHugh served for 30 years in the Army Reserve Medical Corps ­where he did blood banking and medical intelligence and saw action in Operation Desert Storm. Sergeant Jack Pashley was a mechanic and gunner on Helicopters during the Vietnam War.

E-4 Specialist Robert Niemczyk was a member of the Navy Seabees stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and did frequent war game exercises in Germany with all branches of the military as well as serving as an auto mechanic.

Petty Officer Third Class Paul Shanahan was a steelworker in the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion of the Navy Seabees who served in Vietnam.

He was stationed at Midway Island, a Naval Hospital in Guam and served in Port Hueneme attached to the 7th Fleet. 

PHOTO CAP: Pictured from left, Bob Niemczyk, Jack Pashley, Jerry McHugh, Matt Pashley, Paul Shanahan, Terry Higgins, Tom Nichololes and Tom Nichololes, Jr., at the Penndel Veterans Memorial, March 2021.

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