by Donna West Kestner, US Army veteran
This is in response to some recent comments in The Valley News about the condition of the War Memorial. I serve with several veterans organizations in Fulton and the Fulton Veterans Council holds our meetings at the War Memorial.
Barry Ostrander, Jerry Schremp and his staff have done an excellent job for us in helping to maintain our Walk of History and Veterans’ park.
For years, they have helped us complete many tasks and always with a pleasant manner. This year, Gina Camardello and her staff from Key Bank did a wonderful job in weeding and planting flowers at Veterans Park.
Roger Barber, Ronica Siver and Nicky Rapake also spend countless hours watering our flowers and sprucing up those areas, too.
Members of numerous veterans organizations have volunteered their time as well. We have joined together to get the job done. The recreation staff has pressure washed the building and because it sits by the lake it can be difficult to keep up with the mold.
The Fulton Veterans Council had a reception and awarded certificates to Jerry Schremp and his staff to thank them for their commitment to our veterans and the community and always taking care of any concern we have. They have also come in on their days off to complete some of this work.
Having worked with Fulton’s recreation staff for many, many years, I can personally say that they are absolutely dedicated to maintaining these areas and have a strong commitment to our veterans.
As far as the flags go during the Memorial Day ceremonies, we have all pitched in to lower them to half staff before it starts for many years and if you were one of those that helped lower them, we thank you.
The Fulton Police Department, the Fulton Fire Department, and Menter’s EMTs have assisted us with these ceremonies as well.
That is just who we are, we all work together.
I am sorry to hear that people were upset when they went home from our ceremonies. I went home feeling honored to have once again shared the day with some of Fulton’s heroes and enjoyed pleasantries shared with community members who were there.
We can be upset and angry about all the negatives and those who were not there or we can be grateful for all the positives and those who were there and go home feeling happy.
I frequently visit the Walk of History and Veterans Park and usually pick up litter around the area or pull some weeds. Both of which can appear every day. But, that is no reflection on Jerry and his staff because I have seen them in action.
I know that they can’t be in all areas of the city everyday and if I pick up a few candy wrappers I just look at it as doing my part.
We certainly can have issues and concerns that need to be addressed. The mayor’s office and city officials try to get problems resolved. But, we need to work with them and realize everything doesn’t happen overnight.
We have a community full of people and organizations that are doing great things in Fulton. And I am only one of many people who are proud of all these things and I say thank you to all of you doing your part whether volunteering or doing your job.
To the mayor’s office, Barry and Jerry and your staffs, keep up the great work, it’s not going unnoticed.