Kendall dedicates war memorial, year-long effort led by 4 Boy Scouts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2019 at 10:03 pm

Big crowd turns out for dedication ceremony at Community Park

KENDALL – The Kendall community dedicated the new war memorial at the community park today, a project that was spearheaded by four Boy Scouts.

The four scouts – Jayden Pieniaszek, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw and Ryan Barrett – join local veterans for a group photo this afternoon at the new Kendall War Memorial, which the Scouts worked on together for their Eagle Scout community service project.

The Scouts first presented the plan to the Kendall Board of Education about a year ago. The plan quickly gained momentum in the community and was complete within in a year of that initial meeting.

Patriot Guard Riders salute while the American flag is raised by the memorial wall.

The 39-foot-long brick wall features granite plaques highlighting the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the War on Terror. Alternating the granite plaques are concrete medallions representing the five branches of the military.

Three flag poles stand tall behind the brick wall. The center American flag pole is 35 feet high, with two 30-foot flag poles representing the State of New York and Orleans County standing on either side. The memorial is respectfully lit from dusk to dawn.

Black granite engraved bricks border the memorial sidewalk in honor of veterans who are currently serving, who have served, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, or in appreciation of all veterans. Those bricks were sold for $100 each.

The centerpiece of the memorial is a black granite stone that previously stood in front of the Kendall Town Hall and was dedicated to Kendall residents who have served.

Scouts and community members stand and salute while the Honor Guard carries the American flag near the beginning of the dedication ceremony for the war memorial today. About 500 people attended the dedication.

Barb Flow, a member of the Kendall Town Board, takes a photo of three of the bricks along the walkway. Her family bought memorial bricks for her late father, Albert Haseley who served in World War II; her son, Sgt. Vincent Flow IV of the Army, who was deployed in 2008 to Afghanistan; and her late father-in-law, Vincent James Flow Jr., who served in World War II.

Flow said she likes how the brick line the edge of the walkway so people shouldn’t be stepping on the names of the soldiers.

The Honor Guard walks down the walkway, which is lined with bricks. The soldiers include from left: Malcolm Misere, Brian Kizer and Luke Rath. Luke is the older brother of Noah Rath, one of the scout’s who spearheaded the project.

The Scouts thank the community for supporting the project. The Scouts include, from left: Jayden Pieniaszek, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw and Ryan Barrett.

Today was a big day for Boy Scout Troop 94. The troop worked with the Town of Kendall, local businesses and other community members to create the Kendall War Memorial, a 4-phase Eagle Project honoring the armed forces of the United States.

The memorial is part of the Kendall Community Park on Kendall Road, across from the Kendall Elementary School.

The war memorial project is a joint effort by four Boy Scouts: Ryan Barrett, Jayden Pieniazek, Noah Rath and Brian Shaw, each working to become an Eagle Scout. Barrett, a freshman at Nazareth College, has earned Scout’s highest rank while the three others are getting close.

State Sen. Robert Ortt joins Kendall Scoutmaster Ken Spohr in a salute while the flags were raised.

A marker on the brick wall commemorates the efforts of the four Boy Scouts.

Ryan Barrett led the first phase, which included putting in the foundation for the wall, a stone memorial and three flag poles. Two of the poles are 30 feet high and one for the American flag is 35 feet.

Jayden Pieniaszek led the second phase which includes construction of the brick wall, which is 39 feet long, 3 ½ feet wide and 4 feet tall.

Noah Rath headed up phase three which includes the medallions for each five branches of military. Rath also had the electricity set up so the memorial and sidewalk can be lighted up at night.

Brian Shaw coordinated phase four which includes final grading and planting of cedar trees behind the memorial, which provides a buffer for the neighbors and also enhances the site. Shaw also led the work for the plaques on the memorial for the different wars where Kendall soldiers served.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, speaks during the dedication ceremony. He paid for the flag pole that carries the New York State flag. He did that in memory of his father, the late R. Stephen Hawley who served in World War II.

The Kendall Lions Club and the VFW Lincoln Post 1483 in Medina also paid for flag poles. The VFW paid for the pole in honor of Duke Sevenski.

Assemblyman Hawley praised the teamwork by the Scouts in creating the memorial.

Hawley said he has led 12 Patriot Trips to take local veterans and their families to memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Gettysburg. About 1,500 people have attended those trips, which were originally the idea of the Mike Paduchak, a Kendall resident and WWII veteran.

Now local residents can come to the new Kendall War Memorial to reflect on the service of veterans.

Lori Cyr leads the Kendall Community Band, which played several patriotic songs for the dedication.

The Kendall High School group, Vocal Effect, also performed and sang, “Anthem.”

The four Scouts remove the cover on a bench by the memorial. The bench includes a quote by Joseph Campbell: “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

The Scouts raise an American flag and a flag of Prisons of War and soldiers Missing In Action. About 20 members of the Patriot Guard Riders attended the dedication. They salute while the flags are raised.

Wilma Lemcke, a Kendall graduate, leads the group in singing, “God Bless America.”

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, said the war memorial is a great addition for the community.

“This memorial is dedicated to service members from all walks of life,” Cammarata said. “But they shared several fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity — all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one’s self.”

“This remarkable memorial would not be possible without these four Eagle Scouts. Because of them we can, from today and going forward, have a lasting tribute to all those who have served. From the soldiers that shivered and starved through the winter at Valley Forge to the doughboys crouched in the muddy trenches of France to the platoon who patrolled the hazy jungles of Vietnam and the young man or woman patrolling the mountains of Afghanistan, we remember and never forget them.”

Cammarata thanked the Scouts for their vision with the project and seeing it to completion.

“Our gathering today is the beginning of one small spark that ignites a flame of pride, for the people of Kendall and across our great country.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson presented certificates of commendation to the scouts.

She quoted the late U.S. President Gerald Ford, who an Eagle Scout. “The three great principles which Scouting provides – self-discipline, teamwork, and moral and patriotic values – are the basic building blocks of leadership,” Ford said. “I applaud the Scouting program for continuing to emphasize them.”

Joette Knapp, retired Kendall town historian, checks the memorial bricks, which include one in honor of her late husband, Yorke Knapp, who served in World War II.

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