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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Part of VetStock event, July 11-13, Matamoras

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  • MILFORD - A highlight of VetStock 2014 will be the arrival of the "Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance" to be displayed at Matamoras Airport Park July 11, 12 and 13. The special wall carries 11,000 names of victims of terrorist attacks and associated military conflicts, starting with the Marine Corps barracks bombing in Beirut, October 23, 1983 to the Boston Marathon bombing, April 15, 2013.
        Tom Ryan, Executive Director of VetStock, discussed the plans for this year's tribute to veterans and fundraiser for disabled vets, at the Pike County Commissioners' meeting, June 18.
        The organization also received its official "Not for Profit" status on April 1, 2014, after filing with the Internal Revenue Service in 2013. The 501(c)3 designation allows donations to VetStock to be tax-deductible.
       Ryan said that the Wall of Remembrance is similar in concept to the moveable Vietnam Memorial Wall that is a smaller version of the stationary wall at Washington, D.C. The Global War on Terror memorial was developed and funded by a US Marine veteran and first released on September 11, 2013. This is the first time it is being taken to northeast Pennsylvania. It is scheduled to arrive in Milford July 10 with a full escort coming from Mount Pocono.
       This memorial wall is six feet tall and 94 feet long, and is inscribed on both sides. The wall will be revealed at 10:03 a.m., Friday, July 11, with an opening ceremony at the Matamoras Veterans Park and Education Center, coinciding with the exact time when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA (on Sept. 11, 2001).
       He said there will be a ceremonial reading of the names, beginning Friday and and ending on Saturday. Several people will be taking their turn reading a portion of the 11,000 names. Ryan said this is anticipated to take seven or eight hours.
        All fire departments, first responders, honor guards, color guards, fraternal military organization and scout troops are invited to participate in the Opening Ceremonies at Saturday, July 12, which begin at 9:37 a.m. (the time Flight 77 struck the Pentagon). Staging at Matamoras Airport Park will begin at 6:30 a.m. and all participants are asked to be there no later than 8 a.m.
          On Saturday,  two separate memorial rides will depart at 8:46 a.m. in tribute to the moment when the first hijacked jetliner crashed into the World Trade Center’s north tower. Motorcyclists participating in the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Memorial Ride will be departing from the American Legion #139. Riders will meet at the Veterans Park for a remembrance ceremony to take place in the early afternoon.
         Motorcyclists can register by contacting Richy Diaz at hometeam@ptd.net.
          Barbecue begins at 1 p.m. The event under the pavilion will feature food and several vendors, music, including a live performance from Reno the Band. 50/50 raffle and gun raffle.  Commemorative coins will also be sold.
    Page 2 of 2 -    On Sunday, July 13 at 4 p.m., Father Kelly of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church, will lead in prayer at the Wall of Remembrance.
         Ryan created VetStock; serving as Vice-president is Rich Diaz, and assisting as Secretary and Legal Counsel is Kelly Gaughan Esq. The mission of VetStock is to "raise funds or assist in raising funds for veteran service organizations." Ryan reiterated that VetStock coordinates and promotes fundraising for veteran groups that need the assistance, both locally in Pike County and in northeast Pennsylvania.
       Their first large fundraiser was conducted in 2013, partnering with "Homes for Our Troops" to raise money for a fully adapted, new home for a quadriplegic veteran and his family. Funds were raised for Marine Cpl. David Noblit Jr., a veteran who was injured while serving his country in the war in Afghanistan. In April 2014 his home was completed and a ceremony was held VetStock raised over $20,000 for this cause, and in addition, a customized Track Chair valued at $10,000, was presented to Cpl. Noblit.
       Last year VetStock also assisted three American Legion posts in Pike County with fundraising.
       He stated that this year's VetStock will again raise funds for  Homes for Our Troops; the beneficiary has not yet been named. They also work with American Legion Post #139, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Tour De Force NY and Warrior Watch.
        For a list of events or more information visit www.vetstockusa.com, e-mail info@vetstockusa.com, call 570-828-8675.

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