CHURUBUSCO — The new Veterans Memorial Park here honors Town of Clinton residents who served their country during war and peace.
A memorial that stands there was built by Vic Silver of Churubusco and Don Decosse of Chateaugay, formerly of Churubusco, who came up with the idea two years ago after looking through old town photographs.
They found a picture of the old “Busco Honor Roll,” a memorial at an unknown location that honored World War II veterans.
“We thought, let’s duplicate that and bring it back,” Decosse said.
Decosse and Silver set to replicating the structure, adding more than the town’s World War II veterans.
“All we had was the snapshot to go by,” Silver said. “We had no measurements of any kind. We had to estimate the height and width.”
He has not been able to learn what happened to the original Honor Roll.
The new Busco Honor Roll features the names of all men and women from the Town of Clinton and its Churubusco hamlet who have served in the military, from the Civil War through today, including non-combat soldiers.
Also in the park is a monument for two local soldiers killed in World War I that was moved from a cemetery across the street.
Both Silver and Decosse are retired veterans who wanted to give back to their community, Decosse said.
“And that we did,” Silver added.
WORD OF MOUTH
The names of the Civil War and World War I veterans were found in a history book published in 2010 called “Town of Clinton, Churubusco.” After that, Decosse and Silver researched and spread the word about their project.
“A lot of them (the names) came from word of mouth,” Silver said.
Once word about the memorial traveled around town, families responded with names for the Honor Roll.
Silver and Decosse built the structure in their garage two years ago and placed each name on the board by hand. They estimate about 300 names are listed.
“One of the main reasons we did this is written on the bottom (of the memorial),” Decosse said.
“‘May we never forget.’
“What really bothers me today is that … unless there’s something to remind them of what we went through, they forget,” Decosse said of his as well as younger generations.
The 60-by-60-foot plot was donated to the Town of Clinton; the park opened this past spring.
Silver and Decosse still have plans for more landscaping, and the placement of a Canadian flag is in the works, as locals and many of the veterans have ancestral ties to Canada.
“It’s not only honoring the veterans, it’s honoring our families as well,” Decosse said.
A dedication ceremony at the Churubusco Veterans Memorial Park had been planned for Sept. 14 but has had to be canceled, Silver said.
The park is located on Route 189 in Churubusco, across the street from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.