Our nation honors its military veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Corry’s Bill Flick believes those who served their country need recognized on another important day in our nation’s history: V-J Day, which marks the day of victory over Japan in World War II on Sept. 2, 1945.
“The biggest thing is that this year marks the 65th anniversary,” said Flick, who served in the U.S. Merchant Marines and U.S. Navy during the war. “The end of the war deserves more recognition than it really gets.”
Flick has organized a memorial service not only to recognize V-J Day, but also to pay tribute to the 54 military veterans who are honored in Mead Park’s Memory Lane.
The service will be held Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. in Mead Park, at the amphitheater near Memory Lane.
Several of the details are still being worked out, but Flick, with the help of veterans service organizations in Corry and Union City, said the event is a go.
The Corry Area Middle-High School Band will play and representatives from American Legion Post 365 in Corry, American Legion Post 237 in Union City, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 264 in Corry and VFW Post 6773 are expected to be on hand.
Relatives of the veterans honored in Memory Lane also have been invited to the ceremony, which will last about an hour, Flick said.
Flick is on a personal mission to renovate Memory Lane.
The Corry Women’s Victory Club created Memory Lane in 1948 to honor 50 Corry-area servicemen who died while serving their country during World War II.
Originally, 50 maple trees were planted, each in honor of an individual. A keystone-shaped concrete marker with a bronze nameplate also was placed at the foot of each tree.
Over the years, four more markers were added, honoring one additional veteran who died during World War II, another veteran who died during the Korean War, and two veterans who died during the Vietnam War.
Flick is trying to raise $10,000 to replace 10 rotted trees that had to be cut down and to replace all of the concrete markers, many of which are deteriorating and unreadable.
The campaign is more than halfway home. Flick said businesses and individuals have donated $5,362 far.
“There’s still more money out there,” said Flick, who mailed letters to 150 Corry-area individuals, businesses and organizations and has manned a fundraising table at community events like CorryFest and Glenn Mead Day.
Flick had hoped to plant one tree at the upcoming V-J Day service. That won’t happen. Mike Magoon, chairman of the Corry Tree Committee, and Tom Erdman, a service forester with the state Bureau of Forestry, recommend that trees be planted later in the year, closer to winter, to maximize their potential for survival.
That said, Flick still expects all the trees to be planted this year. He also said Magoon still is researching what variety of trees would best suit Memory Lane.
The markers may not be installed this year.
“The project probably won’t be completed until Memorial Day,” Flick said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Flick won’t rest until he meets his goal
“I’m assuming we’ll get all the money to do this,” he said. “I’m still pretty confident.”
For more information or to donate to the Memory Lane project, contact Flick at P.O. Box 244, Corry, PA 16407.