• New Veterans Memorial Walkway in Franklin pays tribute to those who served

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    Crews are putting the final touches on a new memorial honoring veterans in Franklin.

    The dedication of the new Veterans Memorial Walkway on the Town Common will be held on Sunday, yet this memorial and its new brick walkway bearing the name of veterans, is already attracting families.

    "My husband, he was in the Navy during Vietnam. He died six-and-a-half years ago, so it's emotional but it's wonderful," said Ann Dolan. 

    The names of Franklin's war dead are engraved on pillars surrounding the walkway. It takes your breath away to be reminded how young they were.

    And on the walkway itself, more than 1,000 bricks are donated by families. 

    This memorial honors the sacrifices made by all veterans, including the veterans who are still serving and those who made it home. One brick remembers my Dad. 

    Larry Bederian, who is Franklin's VFW commander, said donations for bricks have been pouring in from around the country, from families honoring the sacrifices. No veteran is forgotten.

    "This is something that will be there for them and their memories," Bederian said.

    Bederian has family members who served. 

    "My oldest brother Charlie fought in World War II; 21 years later, my mother sent her youngest son, me, to Vietnam. Twenty-two years later, I sent my youngest son to Afghanistan," Bederian said.

    The Franklin VFW is actively looking for the family of a young World War II Army lieutenant from Buffalo, N.Y. who was killed when his plane crashed into a bog off Maple Street in 1944.

    His name is here, like so many others, all of them remembered on Veterans Day. 

    "It's overwhelming, it really is. It's a sad situation. Why do they have to have wars?" said Richard Barter.

     

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