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Veterans’ memorial to be christened Saturday in Chestertown

Town of Chester veterans watch granite slabs being dropped into place in mid-June for the Chester Veterans Memorial, which is to be dedicated in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday July 7.

Town of Chester veterans watch granite slabs being dropped into place in mid-June for the Chester Veterans Memorial, which is to be dedicated in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday July 7. Photo by Thom Randall.

— An expansive memorial honoring local U.S. soldiers who served during the entire history of our nation is to be dedicated in a community celebration this weekend.

The Chester Veterans’ Memorial and plaza are to be christened in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday July 7.

It is believed to be the most ambitious memorial developed to date in the town’s history, according to town of Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe.

“This is a significant event in the town’s history,” Monroe said, noting he hasn’t experienced such a ceremony here in his 57 years of residing in Chester.

The memorial is a series of eight stones in a semicircular arrangement in front of the town of Chester Municipal Center. The six-feet-tall memorials honor the men and women from the town of Chester who served their nation from the Revolutionary War to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The granite monuments, engraved with about 1,000 names, are flanked with six flags representing the Army Navy, Air Force, Marines Coast Guard and a POW/MIA flag.

There is also a fallen soldier’s memorial, a grouping of bronzed U.S. military boots, helmet, dogtag and rifle.

Expected to be present for the ceremony are several dignitaries, including state Veterans’ Affairs Acting Director William Kraus, State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. Area officials attending include Warren County Clerk Pam Vogel, county Sheriff Bud York, and Thomas Murphy, new CEO of Arrow Financial and Glens Falls National Bank — a major contributor to the memorial.

The ceremony is to include patriotic songs, live bagpipe music and a U.S. Marine Corps color guard.

The event is being held on the same day as the town’s Summerfest, which includes a barbecue at 6 p.m., when the dedication ceremonies are anticipated to conclude.

The construction of the memorial plaza was orchestrated by a planning committee of area veterans, and bankrolled with about $70,000 donated by area businesses and individuals.

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