United Veterans Council Begins Placement Of 4,000-Plus Flag Holders

The United Veterans Council of Jamestown broke ground on Saturday as they placed new permanent markers on veterans of the armed service. The first markers were placed in Lakeview, Holy Cross and Holy Sepulchre cemeteries. Melodie Paladino, secretary of the United Veterans Council of Jamestown, said the goal is to place permanent markers on all of the 4,000 plus veteran grave stones in the three cemeteries. Holding golden shovels were Denny Tiger, Phoenix Metal Fabricating; Cindy Ritti, Blue Star Mothers; and Joe Palodino, United Veterans Council of Jamestown. Other representatives from the Lakeview Cemetery Association, Brothers By Choice, Cub Scout Troop 135, Veterans of Modern Warfare Chapter 20 and The Community Foundation were present. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

Starting with the grave of Henri Le Fevre Brown, infantryman and medal of honor recipient during the Civil War, the United Veterans Council of Jamestown began placing permanent markers on the graves of veterans honoring their sacrifice and service.

The United Veterans Council of Jamestown’s goal is to place permanent markers on all of the 4,000-plus veterans’ graves spread across the Lakeview, Holy Cross and Holy Sepulchre cemeteries. The markers simply say “U.S Veterans,” but instead of being replaced each year before Memorial Day the markers will permanently be on display.

Melodie Paladino, secretary for the United Veterans Council of Jamestown, explained that the organization places temporary markers then paired with American flags on the Thursday before Memorial Day each year. She said the goal is add the permanent markers to all the veterans buried in the cemeteries so that visitors will always see who served in the military.

“We wanted to come up with a permanent way to honor the veterans all year long,” she said, “and to simplify the task of placing all those flags.”

With help from community partners and donations, the council placed the first 100 permanent markers on Saturday. Those community partners included the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter 4, Brothers By Choice, Lake View Cemetery Association and various individual doners.

Joe Paladino, from the United Veterans Council of Jamestown, designed the “U.S. Veteran” markers and took the design to Phoenix Metal Fabricating where the company laser-cut the design and “graciously” charged $15 per marker.

“Not only the owners, but the employees (of Phoenix Metal Fabricating) also are honored to do this for the (United Veterans Council of Jamestown),” said Denny Tyger, representative of Phoenix Metal Fabricating.

The project received donations from various organizations and the council is hoping to secure a grant through The Community Foundation. The grant application has been submitted and is in the review process. Through fundraising and donations, Paladino said the goal is to have all of the veterans’ graves marked by Veterans Day 2019.

“When we heard the United Veterans Council had this idea to put permanent markers on veterans’ graves in Lake View Cemetery were interested and excited,” said Tory Irang, executive director of The Community Foundation. “We just wanted to encourage the group to keep their momentum going.”

Paladino said numerous graves do not have any marking signifying the deceased was a veteran. She hoped that placing these markers would bring awareness to how many veterans served from Jamestown and Chautauqua County.

“I thank everybody that’s come out for this, the community’s support and the support we’ve been getting,” said Leo Penfield, president of the United Veterans Council of Jamestown. “Hopefully it carries on and hopefully we’ll have a good Memorial Day Parade.”

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