By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
HERNDON — Among “road closed” signs and traffic barriers in the borough maintenance building, the 8-foot-by-8-foot Herndon World War II memorial board stands, waiting for a new home.
Ann Walshaw hopes that home is found sooner than later.
“I would like to do a ceremony similar to what they did when it was first dedicated,” said Walshaw, a member of the Herndon Armed Forces Memorial Fund Committee and a driving force behind finding a new — and permanent — location for the World War II honor roll.
That first dedication, in 1943, had 300 attendees, about the size of Herndon’s current population. Families had several members serving at the same time.
“They were truly a band of brothers in all that they endured,” said Judith Deppen, a Herndon Borough Council member who is helping Walshaw in the effort. The board “means a lot to anyone who grew up here.”
That’s why Walshaw, who was born and continues to live in Herndon, wants the board back in the public eye, hoping to find a place where the board can stand, but also could be expanded into a memorial park of sorts to honor Herndon residents who served in other wars.
The World War II honor board once stood near the Herndon Fire Company headquarters. Walshaw believes it was moved because, as traffic picked up through Herndon, the board began to get hit by vehicles.
Among Walshaw’s safer “dream locales” for the board: the Herndon Cemetery, which not only has plenty of room but has astonishing views of the Susquehanna River from its hilltop location — and where many of those listed on the board now rest in peace.
Seventy-nine people was a large chunk of the population from a small borough like Herndon, which may have had about a 1,000 residents during World War II, Walshaw said.
She took up the cause of the board after researching and compiling information for a commemorative book for Herndon’s centennial in 2002. The board was restored for the celebration, then relegated to storage until a new home was found.
But out of sight meant out of mind, and the board sat in storage until recently when the Herndon Lions Club helped move it to the borough maintenance shed.
The project will go forward as funds are raised. The group already has collected $2,040 in just a month from families of those listed on the board, Walshaw said. She is reaching out to Herndon businesses and will study possible grant options for the project as well.
“It’s nice to bring it back for the veterans,” she said. And hopefully this project will be the catalyst for memorials of others from Herndon who have served.