LOCKPORT – The Pendleton Town Board has created a new committee focusing on town veterans, and its first meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. Monday in Pendleton Town Hall.
William Rott, who will be chairman of the committee, is looking for interested residents to join.
Rott said an effort to honor those residents of Pendleton who have served their country is “long overdue.”
“I would at least like to have a significant memorial plaque listing the names of every veteran who ever served and who lived in the town, for starters,” said Rott, who served as a captain in the U.S. Army.
The initial mission of the new committee will be to raise money for a veterans memorial to be located in the town, but it also will be charged with promoting tax exemptions for those veterans who are eligible. The committee also will help organize ceremonies for various veterans holidays; assist veterans and their families in obtaining information for any government benefits they may be eligible for; and coordinate efforts with the Niagara County Veterans Service Agency and other local veterans organizations regarding any new veterans programs or events.
The Pendleton Town Board created the new committee at its February meeting, and Councilman Dave Leible will serve as the board liaison.
Rott said two of his uncles returned from World War II badly wounded and yet, “I never knew as a child the heroes whose presence I was in.”
Additionally, he had a younger brother who served in Vietnam and a number of friends who were veterans, whose service he didn’t find out about until decades later.
“I’m a life member of the 74th Regiment Veterans Association of the Connecticut Street Armory, and we hosted a homecoming last year for 187 men and women there,” he recalled. “Probably one-third of them were grandparents, and some of them were on their fourth deployment as National Guard citizen-soldiers. Many were on their third deployment, and the vast majority was on its second deployment. But how many of us have any awareness of these citizen-soldiers? That’s what’s moved me forward on this committee.”
Anyone interested in the committee may attend Monday’s meeting in Town Hall, 6570 Campbell Blvd., or call Rott at 912-6845.