The sacrifice of four local servicemen killed in action during the Iraq War will be commemorated during a special ceremony near Odessa on June 30.
Bricks bearing the name of each man will be added to the American Legion Post 25’s new Memorial Heroes Walk during the 1 p.m. event at 307 N. Sixth St.
“We laid the Memorial Heroes Walk earlier this year, but never held a formal dedication,” said 1st Vice Commander Ed Colaprete. “So in planning that, we decided it would be a good opportunity to pay our respects to these local heroes who deserve to be recognized and remembered.”
The ceremony will honor the memories of:
n Sgt. Brian D. McGinnis, a 23-year-old U.S. Marine from St. Georges killed in a helicopter crash in southern Iraq on March 30, 2003;
n Lance Cpl. Anthony P. Roberts, an 18-year-old Middletown High School graduate killed in combat in Ramadi, Iraq on April 6, 2004;
n Army Pfc. Stephen P. Snowberger III, an 18-year-old former Bear resident killed by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad on May 11, 2006;
n Army Sgt. Keith E. Fiscus, a 26-year-old Townsend resident killed by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad on Dec. 2, 2006.
Bricks bearing their names will be added to about 100 blocks that make up the existing walk, most of which recognize donors to the American Legion’s long-running effort to fund the construction of a new building just north of Odessa.
“The main thrust of the walk was always to honor the men and women who have or are serving in our military, as well as our police officers, firefighters and paramedics,” Colaprete said. “But the original idea was for it to be a part of our new building. Eventually, we realized it’s going to be some time before we’re able to break ground on that project, so we decided to build it here at our current location and then move it, if and when our new building gets off the ground.”
In addition to laying the bricks honoring the four fallen servicemen, the dedication ceremony also will include a presentation of corsages to their family members, a special remembrance of POWs and MIAs, remarks by local dignitaries and light refreshments.
Colaprete said the dedication is being made possible thanks to donations from Acme Markets, Applebee’s, Bob Evans Restaurant, Elana’s Broad St. Florist & Gifts and local residents Jeff Rankin and Ed Sterling.