Five Herkimer County residents given the highest military honor may soon have their deeds recognized locally.
The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition, Fallen Stars Memorial Committee and Crowley-Barnum American Legion Post No. 25 of Mohawk have been working to get a plaque together to recognize the accomplishments of David L. Bass and Benjamin Gifford, of German Flatts, Forrest T. Vosler and Frank West, of Mohawk, and Walter J. Will, of West Winfield. All five individuals were decorated with the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. Two of the soldiers came from the Civil War era, one from the Indian Wars and two from World War II.
Ray Lenarcic, hunger coalition director, said the plaque will be a way to commemorate the five soldiers who have ties to the county. “We’d like to let the public in the county know that and let them know their names,” he said.
The committees are looking to put the plaque by the American flag memorial at the Herkimer County Office Building on Mary Street in the village of Herkimer. County Legislator Kurt Ackerman, of Little Falls, said they have received approval from the family who established the memorial to put the plaque there, but it still needs to go through certain committees before it is official.
Organizers hope to have something ready by Memorial Day.
The committees also discussed the upcoming Sgt. Shawn Hugs Day on Nov. 19 at the Mohawk American Legion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone interested in making fleece blankets for young children in need can join the group, and only need to bring a pair of scissors.
Shawn Martin was a U.S. Marine, whose wife Mimi Thomes was from Mohawk, killed in action in Iraq on June 20, 2007. His mother Dawn Martin, who started the project, plans to be at the event.
Also coming up is An Afternoon to Remember in Honor of All Korean War Era Veterans. The event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 11, at Herkimer County Community College’s McLaughlin College Center from 2 to 4 p.m. The Steve Falvo Easy Money Big Band will perform.
There is no charge for the event, but it is limited to the first 400 who register. Each Korean War veteran will receive a free decorative Christmas ornament honoring their service. Those interested can contact the Mohawk Post Commander Richard Monahan at 866-4750.