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Letters to the editor

November 09, 2004
(Page 2 of 2)

Attention all Washington County World War II veterans: A monument commemorating your service to your country has been erected adjacent to the flag pole at the old Fort Ritchie Army base and will be dedicated on Armistice Day (Nov. 11) at 2 p.m. All veterans, families and friends are urged to attent the ceremony.

Historical note: Actually the ceremony will be considered a rededication. Nearly 60 years ago, on April 21, 1945, a 40 acre "memorial forest" located off the Appalachian Trail in the Edgemont Reservoir preserve was set aside to commemorate the military service performed by Washington County veterans during World War II.

Despite much fanfare and media attention, no monument or marker was ever erected to identify the site.

When the omission was brought to the attention of the public by an article published in The Daily Mail on Jan. 21, 2002, a self-appointed committee of World War II veterans initiated action to rectify the omission. The Masonry Institute volunteered to provide labor and materials on a Fort Ritchie site - chosen for practical considerations - several American Legion posts contributed funds and the Washington County Historical Society agreed to underwrite the cost of a suitable plaque. The pedestal is in place and we anticipate a timely delivery of the plaque.

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Principal speaker at the ceremony will be Fred Wishard, a veteran who won the Purple Heart in World War II. Wishard delivered the dedicatory address at the dedication of the original memorial forest.

Please show your respect for the men and women who served their country well during the "Big One" by being on hand for this patriotic event.

Paul G.H. Wolber
Co (US) Ret.
Hagerstown

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