Memorial Walk a Special Place to Area Veterans

By Lynn R. Parks

Seaford’s Memorial Walk to honor those who served in the United States military has grown by 27 bricks. Those bricks will be dedicated during the city’s Memorial Day service Monday, May 31. Richard Drummond, Seaford, state chaplain with the American Legion and the man behind the memorial walk, will lead the dedication service. “I will read the names of each person on the bricks,” said Drummond, a member of American Legion Post #6 in Seaford. “It will be kind of their last roll call. At the same time, I will call those who are in the audience to come up with me. And you will be able to see it on their faces: They will look around and think, ‘Gee, it’s nice to know that I’ll be remembered.’” The 27 new bricks bring to 531 the total number of bricks that line the sidewalk at Kiwanis Park on Stein Highway. The names on the bricks are of those people who lived in the Seaford school district for at least one year, who served in the military and who received honorable discharges. The bricks include the veterans’ dates of service and the branch of the military in which they served. The memorial sidewalk meanders through the park, passing in front of the monument to the city’s war dead. “Those people deserve to be honored,” said Drummond, gesturing toward the large granite monument. “They gave their lives. But when they died, their suffering was over. Many people came home from war and had lifetimes of suffering. They deserve to be recognized too.”
Drummond, who was in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and served in Africa, Corsica and Italy, tells many stories of men who came home with legs and arms shot off, men who spent lives in wheelchairs and men who, despite having been wounded, carried on without complaint. He also recalls stories of courage and of sadness that his father, Otho, a World War I veteran, told. “These men all served their time, and deserve to be recognized,” he said. “At least with these bricks in place, people know that they served their country.” Drummond started working on the sidewalk in 1999, after the Kiwanis Club replaced the old dirt pathway in the park with a concrete sidewalk. Drummond, a member of the Kiwanis Club, suggested that the new sidewalk include concrete borders on which bricks can be laid, a suggestion to which club members readily agreed. Each brick costs the city about $20, and is sold for $30. The excess money goes into the city’s monument fund. With that fund, Drummond has purchased a metal sign for the walkway. He hopes to have the sign installed by Memorial Day. He is also working on a lighted map, so that visitors to the park can locate names along the pathway easily. He hopes to have that in place by the Veteran’s Day service in November, which will include the dedication of a new set of bricks. Drummond said that his work on the sidewalk comes from love and respect for his fellow veterans. “I don’t do this for any kind of honor or glory, but just to recognize people who served and gave much to their country,” he said. He feels that it is important for veterans to have a place that inspires them to talk about their war experiences, and that assures them that their sacrifice is appreciated. He also feels that it is important for a community to remember its citizens who were killed or injured in battle. “This memorial reminds us that was is a horrible thing that takes the lives of young people who never had a chance to live,” he said. “The freedom that we enjoy came at a very dear price, and that price was the lives of young people.” For your information: Applications to have a brick placed along the memorial walk are available at Seaford City Hall. The walkway is open to all veterans who lived for at least a year in the Seaford area, or who belong to a Seaford veteran’s organization. Proof of military service is required. Cost of each brick is $30.

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