Honor Your Veteran with Brick for Walkway

J.D. O’Gara
Fundraiser for Franklin Veterans Memorial Walkway to Honor Any Who’ve Served
Issue Date: 
March, 2018
Article Body: 

Many of us want to deeply honor our veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but why not give a nod of recognition to all of those who have served? A new Veterans Memorial Walkway planned by the Franklin Veterans Council will shine a light on the 45 soldiers from Franklin who gave the ultimate sacrifice during time of war or conflict, but it will be paid for by bricks recognizing the service of any beloved veterans or active service members of the United States military.
“I think they’ll remember their family,” says Larry Bederian, Commander of the Franklin V.F.W. Post 3402. “You might have a brother that might be in the military today; you might be able to remember him, say ‘Hey, I bought you a brick for $100.”
The Franklin Veterans Council came up with a concept of the walkway by the town’s current war memorial on town common in October of 2016. To pay for the project, which will cost about $85,000, the group is doing a brick sale program. People from any town can purchase a brick to honor any veteran that has served in the nation’s military, including the National Guard, the Reserves and Active Duty military personnel. The area can accommodate 5,000 to 6,000 bricks.
“The proceeds from those bricks will pay for the construction of the project,” says Dale Kurtz, Veterans Administrator for Franklin, who explains that Bederian will be managing the brick order forms and payments, as well as any donations that people might want to offer for the project.
Bederian and Kurtz both agree that giving every veteran a chance for recognition means a lot.
“I think it means more that every (veteran) gets recognized, not just the ones who paid the ultimate. You go to the VA and you see people still from Korea in there; you’ve got guys from Afghanistan Iraq – give them a little recognition, too. It’s a great idea,” says Bederian.
“This is open to anybody,” says Kurtz. “My sister-in-law from Wisconsin can buy a brick for her father and have it placed in our walkway.”
The design of the bricks is going to be very simple.
“We’re keeping it very general. I don’t care if they’re a four-star general or a private. The first line is going to be a name, last name second line, and branch of service the third line. Every brick is going to be the same,” says Kurtz. “You don’t get to choose where you go.”
If you would like your own or your loved one’s contribution to the United States Military to be part of this permanent memorial, you can download an order form for the bricks from Franklin American Legion Post 75’s website at http://www.mapost75.com/ or from the VFW at https://post3402.org/documents and mail your order form and payment to “VFW Post 3402” to Franklin V.F.W. Post 3402, 1034 Pond St / PO Box 96, Franklin, MA 02038.
You can also order your brick online by clicking the link at http://franklinveteransbricks.com/.