THE COALDALE PENNSYLVANIA WOMEN'S MEMORIAL GARDEN
The Coaldale Women's Memorial Garden is located adjacent to the Veterans Memorial honoring those who served in the military in our Nation's wars and conflicts.
Coaldale claims the honor of having the highest "per-capita" percentage of those who served in World War II. Fully 22.5 percent of the Coaldale's population served during the period December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1945. This is more than twice the national average. Fifty four men gave the ultimate sacrifice during this period; almost four times the national average. It is in honor of this service and these sacrifices that the Women's Memorial Garden was conceived and was designed. The Women's Memorial is in honor of ALL women; not just those who served in the military, but those who cherished, supported, and prayed for their loved one"s safe return from 'harm's way". Special honors have been made for the 54 "Gold Star Mothers" who lost their precious sons in WW II. There is a special relationship between the Veterans Memorial and the Gold Star Mother Walk of Honor and the Memorial Wishing Well.
The Women's Memorial Wishing Well is shown with the Mural depicting the Vietnam Women’s Statue located adjacent to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC. The images on the Wishing Well will depict contributions of Coaldale women.
The Vietnam Woman's Mural depicts the sacrifices of both men and women during our Nation’s 13 year controversial war in Vietnam. The mural was painted by Susan Frendak, whose father served in WW II and whose name is on the WW II memorial Wall. Susan also painted the famous Iwo Jima flag raising mural; honoring those who served in WW II.
The Coaldale Women's Memorial Mural, honoring the women who served in Vietnam.
Special permission was granted by the sculptor Glenna Goodacre and the Vietnam Women's Memorial foundation to paint this mural. Vietnam combat veterans have been overwhelmed at the sight of this mural. Reverend William Edwards, a combat Special Forces veteran of Vietnam, has written a song honoring Vietnam combat nurses. The song is called "She Still Cries'.
A special "Gold Star Mother Plaque" and a "Gold Star Mother Walk of Honor" have been incorporated in the Women's Memorial Garden, in a small way thanking those mothers who lost their sons in combat. Their grief and loss is immeasurable.
Gold Star Mothers Mrs. Anne Baddick Adams and Mrs. Mary Nesterak are shown with the plaque depicting their own; and all Gold Star Mother sacrifices, service, and patriotism. The plaque has been placed in the memorial garden. Ann lost her son "Sergeant A.J.Baddick" in Iraq and Mary lost her son Norman in Vietnam. The statue depicted is a planned future purchase in full size bronze for the memorial garden. The plaque and Battlefield Cross in the Veterans memorial Garden have been sculpted by famous military sculptor Andrew Chernak of Philadelphia. He will sculpt our life size Gold Star Mother statue.
The "Gold Star Mother Walk of Honor" is shown in relation to the "Battlefield Cross" or "Soldier's Cross" located in the Veterans Memorial Garden. There is a special relationship here as portrayed in the poem by designer of the memorials, Bill Gaddes. About seventy percent of the Gold Star Mothers are named Anne or Mary, reflecting the Christian Catholic heritage of the area.
Recent additions to the Wishing well have been a black granite image of Gold Star Mother Mary Nesterak, holding a photograph of her son Army Captain Norman Nesterak, who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968. Also included is a kneeling angel; representative of the 54 loving and caring mothers who suffered terribly at the loss of their precious sons.
Shown on the 20 inch square black granite image is the family of Sergeant Frank Urban.
He and his wife Mary are holding their infant son Bobby. The photo was taken during WW II in 1944. The corrections shown will be incorporated in a new issue of the granite image. It is planned to dedicate four images honoring Coaldale women and families on Veterans Day 2013.
Shown is an image of Coaldale women nurse volunteers, who attended to seriously ill and dying patients during the tragic "Spanish Flu" epidemic of 1918/19. The patients were housed in tents at the Coaldale High School football field because the Coaldale State hospital could not accommodate the large numbers of seriously ill patients. . The remaining image are to be selected from several candidates by the Veterans Committee and a representative from the Coaldale United Veterans Organization (UVO).
The Women's Memorial Garden is nearing completion. There will be four black granite images of contributions of Coaldale women to our Nation. A granite angel will be located in the wishing well.
Following Under Construction
The third black granite shown above is an image of the famous "Gold Star Mother" statue sculpted by Andrew Chernak. It will have the notation, "We Honor, Love, and Cherish Our Gold Star Mothers".
Contingent on funding, purchase of the Gold Star Mother bronze full-size statue shown above will complete the Women’s Memorial. This statue was sculpted by famous military sculptor Andrew Chernak of Philadelphia; who has statues honoring our military at many military installations, military cemeteries, VA hospitals, and other locations around the world.
The Women’s Memorial garden is located adjacent to the Veterans Memorial. It has four benches, is lighted, has surveillance, and is a secure and tranquil place for rest, remembrances, contemplation and honoring our precious women.
The Veterans Committee and the Coaldale UVO are very grateful for the support of the citizens of Coaldale. the surrounding area, and the Diaspora of Coaldale High School. Without their generous support, the Veterans and Women’s Memorial would not have been possible.
May 28, 2013