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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Gen. Ungerleider memorial unveiling set in park

  • When city native and American hero Gen. Alvin Ungerleider died three years ago at age 89, his extraordinary life was memorialized in remarks which were entered into the Congressional Record in Washington, D.C.
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  • When city native and American hero Gen. Alvin Ungerleider died three years ago at age 89, his extraordinary life was memorialized in remarks which were entered into the Congressional Record in Washington, D.C.
    Then, in 2012, city officials issued a proclamation marking April 16 as Gen. Alvin Ungerleider Day in Carbondale as a way of honoring one of the most accomplished citizens in the history of the Pioneer City.
    All the while, Atty. Benjamin Schnessel was leading an effort to create a lasting memorial to Gen. Ungerleider here in his hometown. He has been working on the project with his fellow committee members, including Carbondale Historical Society president Dr. S. Robert Powell, City Clerk Michele Bannon, former city newsman Jerry Palko, and Michael Delfino, a classmate of Ungerleider's at Benjamin Franklin High School.
    Last summer, sculptor John Leon of Cincinnati, Ohio, was selected to create the memorial — a black granite obelisk, with a size-and-a-half bust in bronze of Gen. Ungerleider in uniform.
    In addition, most of the money had been raised through private donations at that time to fund it, so City Council approved its placement in Memorial Park. Schnessel said it will be located either on the right side or the left side of the WW2 monument at the front of the park, where it will stand "at eye-level close to the sidewalk," he noted.
    "That way, people standing on the sidewalk will be able to read the inscription without any problem," he offered.
    He stated that there will also be a short bio of the general engraved on the base, with Monuments By Parise doing the base of the piece as well as the engraving.
    Last week, Schnessel told the NEWS that the monument is nearing completion, and a ceremony has been scheduled in Memorial Park for its unveiling.
    "We're going to be doing it on the last Saturday in July," he related. "The ceremony is set for noon on Saturday, July 26."
    "There will be people coming to this event from all across the United States as well as from Israel," he added, explaining that many of Ungerleider's family members are planning to attend as well as others who were friends or acquaintances of the late general or his family when they lived in Carbondale.
    Schnessel said the completion of the monument, and its placement in Memorial Park, represents "the culmination of a longtime dream of the Ungerleider family."
    "They're very excited about this and really looking forward to coming to Carbondale for the ceremony," he offered, "and they're thrilled that Alvin is going to be honored this way in his hometown."
    In the remarks entered into the U.S. Congressional Record and in the Carbondale City official proclamation, Gen. Ungerleider was remembered for being drafted into military service right out of high school in Nov. of 1942; for taking part in D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy which changed the course of World War II and of world history (Ungerleider landed on Omaha Beach that day and was wounded twice in the opening days of the invasion); for being among the troops who liberated the Nazi concentration camps about a year later (at which time Ungerleider, a Jew himself, was able to minister to the survivors); for being a highly-decorated American hero who received three Legion of Merit awards, the Four Chaplains Award, two Bronze Stars for bravery and meritorious service, and a Purple Heart; for being one of only 99 Americans to be awarded the French Legion of Honor for his role in D-Day and the eventual liberation of France; for remaining in the United States Army for several more decades and making a career of military service, ultimately rising to the rank of Brigadier General; for being recognized by the Secretary of the Army as well as by the NAACP for establishing innovative Equal Opportunity programs during his peacetime career; and for being personally chosen by Pres. Bill Clinton to accompany him in a wreath-laying ceremony at Normandy for the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994, among other accomplishments.
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