35 Legion Parkway
West Seneca,
New York 14224
U.S.A.




American Legion
Post 735




Marine Corp. League
Detachment 239




Veterans of Foreign Wars
VFW Post 8113




Navy Seabee Veterans
of America, Island X-5





AMVETS
Post 8113




82nd Airborne










  
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West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee


Serving the Veterans and Residents of West Seneca

  





    Walkway of Freedom





Walkway Timeline



  November 2010        Dedication of Veterans Memorial Park  
  June 2011      First batch of engraved bricks placed in Walkway  
  September 2011      Second batch of engraved bricks placed in Walkway  
  May 2012      Third batch of engraved bricks placed in Walkway  
  Spring 2012        Six veteran's benches placed along Walkway  
  November 2012        Gold Star Mothers plaque dedicated  
  April 2013      10 ft x 10 ft Gazebo built  
  May 2013      Three Pathways added  
  May 2013      Fourth batch of engraved bricks placed in Walkway  
  April 2014      Signs placed along Pathways  
  May 2014      Fifth batch of engraved bricks placed in Walkway  
  Summer 2014        Two veteran's benches placed along Pathways  
  October 2014      Learning Station sign posts placed along Pathways  
  May 2015      Flower Beds for Community Garden created  
  May 2015      Sixth engraved batch of bricks placed in Walkway  
  May 2016      Seventh engraved batch of bricks placed in Walkway  
  May 2016      Second year for Community Gardens  
  October 2016      300 bricks removed for library expansion  
  November 2016      Gatling Gun placed in storage during construction  
  August 2017      Bricks removed from all Pathways due to construction  
  July 2018      Bricks placed back into all Pathways  
  July 2018      Eighth engraved batch of bricks placed in Walkway  
  May 2019      Nineth batch of engraved bricks placed in Path of Honor  
  June 2019      Path of Honor extended to Town Hall  
  June 2019      Four paths added to Path of Honor for placement of monuments  
  July 2019      Veterans Display Case added to Veterans Annex  
  September 2019      Computer to aid in Brick Searches added to Veterans Annex  
  May 2020      Learning Stations commemorating the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address added  
  July 2020      Tenth batch of engraved bricks placed in Path of Honor  
  July 2020      Limited number of gardens planted  
  August 2020      Three additional display cases added to Veterans Annex  
  October 2020      All Learning Stations installed  
  October 2020      75mm Howitzer placed on conrete pad  
  May 2021      World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam War monuments mounted on concrete pads  
  October 2021      1897 Colt Gatling Gun sent to Altoona, Pennsylvania for restoration  
  April 2022      Eastern Rosebud (Cercis canadensis) tree donated by West Seneca Chamber of Commerce  
  May 2022      Eleventh batch of engraved bricks placed in Path of Honor  
  April 2023      Restored 1897 Colt Gatling Gun returned and displayed in Community Center  
  May 2023      Two Iraq Wars and Afghanistan War monuments mounted on concrete pad  
  May 2023      Twelfth batch of engraved bricks placed in Path of Honor  
  October 2023      Two Soldier Statues added to Walkway  



History:









Model 1897 Gatling Gun

    In 1897, the Colt Firearms Manufacturing Company produced 94 Model 1897 10 barrel 30-caliber Gatling Guns for the United States Army. These guns were delivered to the Army on August 29, 1897. It is purported that U.S. Army Lt. Joh Parker, Vth Army Mobile Gun Detachment, had four of these gatling guns on San Juan Hill and Santiago in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Out of the four, only three actually were used.


     

    In 1922, a Spanish-American War model 1897 Gatling Gun was donated to the Town of West Seneca and accepted by then Town Supervisor, Henry C. Lein. The gun was stored in several locations and not properly maintained, falling into disrepair.

    In 2003, the gun was restored by Patrick Finnegan, Ron Fultz, Roger Harris, Ed Kowalewski, and Rich Reimers. The restored gun was displayed for a short period of time and then stored in the West Seneca Highway garage.



    In 2010, the Veterans Memorial Park was dedicated, making the park the perfect place to publicly display the gatling gun. On May 4, 2012 under the direction of Supervisor Sheila Meegan and Highway Superintendent Matt English, the gatling gun was moved to a concrete pad in Veterans Memorial Park, near Town Hall, creating a permanent home for this historical piece of military armament.

    In 2016, the Colt Gatling Gun was removed from its concrete pad to make room for the construction of the West Seneca Community Center. The Gatling Gun, corroded by the weather, was placed into storage at the Highway Department.

    In August 2021, the West Seneca Town Board, with a grant from Assemblyman Pat Burke, authorized the restoration of the 1897 Colt Gatling Gun, realizing its uniqueness and historic value. In October 2021, the Tuckahoe Restoration Company loaded the Gatling Gun into a truck for the trip to its service center in Altoona, Pennsylvania to begin restoration of the Gatling Gun. The restoration process included the rebuilding of two new iron wheels, stripping and repainting, disassembling, cleaning and replacing missing parts. The missing magazine loader and bolt lock were also replaced. Complete restoration took until until early-summer 2022.

    The restored Gatling Gun was returned to West Seneca on 11 April 2023 and placed in the Community Center for permanent display under the Hall of Flags display. A re-dedication ceremony was held on 25 April 2023, welcoming the Gatling Gun back to West Seneca. The Buildings and Grounds Department created a special “grass” mat for the Gun to rest upon. Photos of Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders on San Juan Hill as well as the two dedication plaques from the previous Gun restoration and the latest Gun restoration are displayed on the wall behind the Gatling Gun.


      
    Restored Gatling Gun Returns to West Seneca.
                 
    Gatling Gun rolled down the hall
    of the Community Center

    The West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee would like to thank Tom Schobert, who acted as the liaison between the Town and the Tuckahoes Restorations Company in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Town Historian Jim Pace, Supervisor Gary Dixon, and Councilmember Joe Contafio, as well as New York State Assemblyman Patrick Burke for obtaining a state grant to pay for the Gun’s Restoration. The value of this weapon is priceless, so not only is this a unique piece of military history but also a very valuable one as well. Thank you for bringing it back home.


      
    Tom Schobert donned his Teddy Roosevelt uniform
    for the dedication ceremony.
                 
    Gatling Gun mounted in its permanent home.









Honoring All Those Who Served


Master Alphabetical Brick Listing


    The link below is an Alphabetical Listing of all Veterans Bricks in the Walkway of Freedom, the Path of Glory, the Path of Valor, the Path of Courage and the Path of Honor.



    KEY:


    WOF – Walkway of Freedom

    POG – Path of Glory

    POV – Path of Valor

    POC – Path of Courage

    POH – Path of Honor




    Walkway of Freedom:

    Row numbers start with the first Veteran’s brick closest to the American Flag and counts up towards the parking lot (East to West).
    Brick numbers start to the left hand side of each row.

    Helpful Hint:  There are 96 rows of bricks. If your brick is in the higher row numbers, start from the last row of 4 inch x 8 inch bricks and count upwards toward the flag to find the row you are seeking.


    WALKWAY OF FREEDOM
    Note: Only whole bricks are counted in the numbering system.





    Path of Glory:

    Row numbers start with the first row of blank bricks to the east of the Gazebo. Row numbers go up from the gazebo to the Path of Valor (West to East).
    Brick numbers start to the left hand side of each row.

    Helpful Hint:  There are 132 rows of engraved bricks. If your brick is in the higher row numbers, start from the last row of 4 inch x 8 inch engraved bricks and count backwards toward the gazebo to find the row you are seeking.


    Path of Valor:

    Row numbers start with the first row of blank bricks to the north of the Path of Glory/Courage. Row numbers 1 - 21 go from the Library to the Path of Glory/Courage (north to south).

    Row numbers 22 - 60 continue south of the Path of Glory/Courage and row numbers run north to south

    Brick numbers start to the left hand side of each row.


    Path of Courage :

    Row numbers start with the first row of blank bricks to the east of the Path of Valor. Row numbers go up from west to east (Gazebo to Union Road).
    Brick numbers start to the left hand side of each row.

    Helpful Hint:  There are 121 rows of engraved bricks. If your brick is in the higher row numbers, start from the last row of 4 inch x 8 inch engraved bricks and count backwards toward the gazebo to find the row you are seeking.


    Path of Honor :

    Row numbers start with the first row of blank bricks to the south of the Community Center sidewalk. Row numbers go up from north to south (Community Center to Town Hall).
    Brick numbers start to the left hand side of each row.

    Helpful Hint:  There are 158 rows of engraved bricks. If your brick is in the higher row numbers, start from the last row of 4 inch x 8 inch engraved bricks and count backwards toward the gazebo to find the row you are seeking.



PATH OF GLORY
PATH OF VALOR
PATH OF COURAGE
PATH OF HONOR

Note: Only whole bricks are counted in the numbering system.




Click here to view the Master Alphabetical Brick Listing







Veterans Day
Walkway of Freedom 

November 11, 2011









Notes of Interest:

  • Branches of Service represent in the Walkway:   ArmyMarine Corps.NavyAir ForceSeabeesCoast GuardMerchant Marines

  • Purple Heart recipients, former POW’s, and Silver Star recipients are honored in the Walkway

  • Bricks honor veterans who have served in conflict here and around the world:   Civil WarSpanish–American WarWorld War IPearl HarborWorld War IIKoreaBerlin CrisisVietnamGrenadaPanamaBosniaSomaliaIraqAfghanistan

  • West Seneca residents who served in Iraq/Afghanistan and were Killed in Action:

    • West Seneca West Senior High School graduate Daniel J. Shaw joined the Army in July 2004 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Divison out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Sergeant Shaw was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving in a combat area from January to August 2005 in Iraq and returned for a second deployment in October 2006. Sergeant Daniel J. Shaw, age 23, was killed in action in Taji, Iraq on November 5, 2007. He had earned numerous awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Iraqi Campaign Medal.

    • Army Spc David L. Roustum – 22 KIA on November 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq when his armored Humvee was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. Spc. Roustum was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, Tonawanda, NY

    • Marine Corps. Sergeant Frank World – 25, KIA on 1 April 2010 when his armored vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. Sgt. World was assigned to the 2nd Light Armed Reconnaissance Battalion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom

  • As of June 1, 2023 there are a combined 2,281 engraved veteran's bricks placed in the Walkway of Freedom, Path of Glory, Path of Valor, Path of Courage, and the Path of Honor.

  • Brick orders received from outside New York:   Tracy, California – Estill, Tennessee – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – Daytona Beach, Florida – Sarasota, Florida – Frisco, Texas – Chicago, Illinois – Stamford, Connecticut – Manchester, Pennsylvania – – Eldred, Pennsylvania – Sterling, Virginia – Hagerstown, Maryland – Las Vegas, Nevada – Holt, Michigan – Citrus Heights, California – Mishawaka, Indiana – Sun Lakes, Arizona – Stephens City, Virginia – Little River, South Carolina – Memphis, Tennessee – Foster City, California –Schaumburg, Illinois – Littleton, Colorado – Fort Myers, Florida – Smyrna, Georgia – Plattsmouth, Nebraska – Durham, North Carolina – Sterling, Massachusetts – Surprise, Arizona – Athens, Georgia

  • Brick honoring Civil War soldier:   John Smith from Olean, New York enlisted in the Union Army on 2 September 1862 joining Camp E, 48th Regular Infantry, New York State. Corporal Smith went Missing in Action on 7 May 1864 after being captured and held as a prisoner of war at the infamous Confederate Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Corporal Smith died in prison of dysentery on 3 September 1864 at the age of 27 years old. A returning soldier on foot stopped at the Smith home as Mrs. Smith, the wife of John Smith, was hanging out the laundry to tell her that her husband had died in prison. John Smith left behind 3 sons and 1 daughter

  • The Walkway of Freedom was featured on the WGRZ-TV Daybreak show on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011





Construction begins on Walkway - June 1, 2011
     

First batch of bricks placed in Walkway - July 19, 2011


Second batch of bricks placed in Walkway - October 24, 2011
     

Second batch of bricks placed in Walkway - October 24, 2011





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Copyright 2012          West Seneca Veterans Committee, West Seneca, New York U.S.A.          All rights Reserved.