NEWTOWN SQUARE–The Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association's (DCVMA) $1.5 million memorial project is underway on Alice Grim Boulevard in Newtown Square, and the association is already looking forward to offering educational programs.
Though the memorial is set for completion with a grand opening and dedication ceremony on May 11, 2013, the Education Board of the DCVMA is eager to start developing a few education programs.
According to Barbara Ann Zippi, a member of the Education Board, education tours to the memorial is slated to start in the fall of 2013. The tours will be part of the Delaware County Historical Society's Passport to History program.
The county's historical society website states, "Students receive a passport and each time they visit an historic site they receive a stamp on their visa pages. Children who collect five stamps in a twelve month period will receive an award."
Karyn Confer, also a member of the DCVMA Education Board, said the educational programs at the memorial will be based on K-12 curriculum and will be open to public and private schools, home schooled students as well as cyber school students. "It may be dependent on the teacher's choice but the main focus will be on all aspects of the wars between the Revolutionary War and present," said Confer. "The program is designed to be eternal. As history changes, we'll develop programs to change with history."
Confer said an interactive kiosk will also be available at the memorial site which will include more information about the names on the memorial and the memorial itself. "That's one of the goals for the kiosk–students can use that for research projects," said Confer.
In addition, the memorial site has a partnership with the history programs at Delaware County Community College, Neumann University, and Widener University.
"We're hoping to make the monument an educational site where students on our campus can get involved," said Jeffrey LaMonica, assistant history professor at DCCC. Students can get involved through internships and professors at colleges can hold talks and lectures with a site visit."
But the site isn't just for students. According to Zippi, senior groups and veterans may also be able to take educational field trips out to the site.
Dave Garvey, president of the Marple Memorial Post 805, described the new memorial as "beautiful" and firmly believed in helping to honor all veterans–past and present, injured, disabled, etc.
"I think they're [veterans] are going to receive this well," said Garvey about the new memorial. "I think it's a real honor to have this year. It's going to be 'miracle mile' when kids and their kids come down to visit the site."
Hundreds of names are etched on a stone wall on the memorial site facing West Chester Pike/Route 3. According to Zippi, those names are of soldiers who died in the line of duty in Delaware County. The names on the back of the wall are dedicated to Newtown Township men and women who served in a war.
Construction will continue now until the end of November. Construction will take a break during the winter months.
According to Zippi, over 5,000 dedication names will be engraved on bricks. Anyone who wishes to buy a brick in support of the memorial still can for $100. You can find a form here. The bricks and fountain is expected to be completed by March of 2013.