New monument on the way for Elmlawn Cemetery Field of Honor (WBEN)

Max Faery - WBEN

September 15, 2022

Originally published in WBEN on September 15, 2022.

A new memorial will replace the 80-year-old monument standing at Elmlawn Memorial Park and Cemetery in Tonawanda.

Tonawanda, N.Y. (WBEN) - A new monument to memorialize our local military veterans will replace an existing 80-year-old monument at the Field of Honor in Elmlawn Memorial Park and Cemetery.

Senator Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Bill Conrad were at the field Thursday morning alongside representatives of the park and American Legion’s Milton J. Brounshidle Post 205 to announce $54,000 in funding secured for a new 15-foot-tall granite monument, coming to the park on Veterans Day in November.

"Elmlawn's Field of Honor is a beautiful place. It's a serene setting where families of our fallen veterans can mourn and recognize their loved ones for over 80 years. The monument that standing behind me has been here 80 years, but the monument really wasn't built to last 80 years. So it's deteriorated with age, and it's clearly at the end of its lifespan. So we're here today to announce a grant between the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly to have $54,000 to replace and come up with a brand new installation," Senator Sean Ryan said.

The Elmlawn Memorial Park Foundation collected $13,600 of the expected $68,000 cost of the replacement monument. $10,700 has come from a donation from Leon Komm & Son, a Buffalo-based memorial design and building company. Senator Ryan and Assemblyman Conrad secured the remaining $27,000 in state grant money to cover the remaining costs. $2,900 has been pledges courtesy of the American Legion Post 205 and the park for long-term maintenance.

"The Field of Honor bears a solemn reminder of the service performed by veterans and it offers their surviving loved ones a place of solace and serenity. The project will prepare the site here installing a granite monument in place of the current one, which you can see as aging in need of replacement," said Assemblyman Conrad.

The new structure will be 11 feet in diameter and 15 feet tall, comprised of mocha granite from Georgia with a stainless steel dome with a decorative design resting on six round, fluted columns which will be connected toward the base with granite ledges for seating and inscriptions.

The project in addition to the new monument includes restoring the surrounding grounds, with a brick pathway leading up to the memorial and a replacement of the memorial plaques that circle the current monument. The plaques are not grave markers, they will not disturb any current burial sites.

The old structure will be systematically torn down and relocated. The existing globe structure inside the monument will also be preserved and implemented inside the new structure.

The dedication and unveiling of the new memorial site will be on Veterans Day, November 11th of this year.