Funds needed for veterans park in Cumberland County

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – At the 5th annual Hampden Township Veterans Recognition Committee Golf Outing, people hit the green to honor those who have served for the red, white and blue.

“Giving back to the folks in appreciation for the sacrifices that they made throughout the years, that we could be here golfing, nothing better than that,” said Craig Abernathy, a tournament participant. “So, just a token of our appreciation.”

“Whether you served during any of those times, you still served your country. You still had a main purpose in your life,” said Cpl. Mike Gossert, USMC, Retired. “The country got something from you and I think you got something from the country.”

They’re also getting something from Hampden Township: a veterans memorial and park.

“We initially were going to build a memorial on one of our township parks,” said Nate Silcox, a Hampden Township commissioner. “When Giant donated 17 acres of land to the township, we dedicated those lands for a veterans park.”

An American flag marks the spot along I-81, off the Wertzville Road exit, near the new Giant. The blueprints show a memorial with a park and walking path around it.

“We’ll have relics from all the wars so we can honor all veterans from all wars at this park,” Silcox said. “It’s an exciting project. We’re raising private dollars for this so we can save the taxpayers fund on that front.”

The golf tournament raised about $20,000 of the $1 million project. Supporters said it’s a small price to pay for veterans who keep our country free.

“Ronald Reagan once said at the 40th anniversary of Normandy: ‘We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared so we can always be free.’ That sums it up for me,” Silcox said.

“People are always saying, ‘Thank you for your service.’ This really is like a thank you,” Gossert said.

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