Kendall War Memorial to be dedicated September 29

By on September 21, 2019
The memorial is a joint project for (l-r) Ryan Barrett, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw, and Jayden Pieniaszek.

The memorial is a joint project for (l-r) Ryan Barrett, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw, and Jayden Pieniaszek.

Kendall Boy Scout Troop 94, in harmony with the Town of Kendall, will be dedicating the Kendall War Memorial, a four-phase Eagle Project honoring the armed forces of the United States of America, on Sunday, September 29, 2 p.m., at the Kendall Community Park, Kendall Road (across from the Kendall Elementary School).

The project is the joint effort of four Boy Scouts – Ryan Barrett, Jayden Pieniaszek, Noah Rath, and Brian Shaw. Each is working to become an Eagle Scout by leading a phase of the project. 

In August of 2018, Ryan and Jayden came to their scout troop with the idea for a memorial to honor the Kendall community’s veterans. Ryan said he wanted to build something he could be proud to bring his family to someday. The scouts sketched out plans, and things progressed quickly. Noah and Brian also signed on to be a part of this monumental project. It is personal for them as all four scouts have family members who have served. 

Scout Master Ken Spohr said that the young men were met with skepticism when they first discussed their plans to build a 39-foot-long memorial wall. They presented the project to several groups including the Kendall Board of Education, Kendall Town Board, VFW groups, and even the New York State Assembly, to garner support. As the project started to take shape, and the community saw that they were serious, support for the project took off. “There has been a tremendous amount of community support,” Spohr said.

The wall features granite plaques highlighting the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the War on Terror. Alternating the granite plaques are concrete medallions representing five branches of the military. The centerpiece of the memorial is a black granite stone dedicated to Kendall residents who have served that previously stood in front of the Kendall Town Hall. Three flagpoles stand tall behind the brick wall. The center pole for the American flag is 35-feet, with two 30-foot poles for the New York State and Orleans County flags standing on either side. The memorial is respectfully lit from dusk to dawn.

Ryan completed all of the site work for the beginning phase of the project. This consisted of digging out the entire area for the foundation of the memorial and moving the pre-existing monument from the Town Hall to serve as the centerpiece. He also placed the central flagpole. One of the challenges faced in this phase was that more topsoil needed to be removed than was initially anticipated. Mother Nature also caused some delays as the weather turned cold quickly. Ryan worked through those challenges and received his Eagle in a Court of Honor ceremony in August.

Jayden led the second phase, constructing the brick wall and placing the pole for the county flag. Miller Brick donated all of the brick for the project, but the cold, wet spring slowed progress. The Kendall Lions offered their assistance, bringing tents to cover the site so construction could continue despite the rain. 

Noah was responsible for the third phase, which included the five military medallions, placing the pole for the state flag, and setting up electricity at the site for lighting. A town worker driving by the site on his way home stopped to help with setting up the electric. Spohr said, “There have been so many ways that people have helped.”

Brian coordinated the final phase, adding the plaques to represent the various wars in which Kendall soldiers served, grading and landscaping the site. Brigden Memorials has been a “super supporter,” Spohr said, providing the granite etchings. 

Black granite engraved bricks border the memorial sidewalk in honor of veterans – those currently serving, who have served, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, or in appreciation of all veterans. About 158 bricks have been sold to date, and bricks are still available for a $100 donation. An order form is available on the Kendall War Memorial Facebook page. More information is also available by emailing KendallWarMemorial@gmail.com or calling 520-9360. The project was designed allowing space for up to 1,800 bricks so that the memorial can grow for generations to come.

Spohr said he has two goals for all Eagle projects – that the scouts learn to be leaders and that they learn respect for others. “As an Army Veteran and Scout Master, it has given me great pride to be associated with these scouts and their project. Older generations often say the younger generation doesn’t know respect for their elders or their country, but I have four scouts that prove that wrong. Their commitment to designing an astonishing memorial for their community, while showing respect and honor for veterans has been a great thing to watch.”

Provided photos

Kendall wall closer

The Kendall War Memorial will be dedicated September 29 at 2 p.m.

Kendall wall concrete

Working on the sidewalk leading to the memorial from the Kendall Town Gazebo.

Kendall Wall construction

Wall construction began in mid-April.

Kendall Wall granite

Working on the granite plaques.

Kendall wall hawley 2

The scouts travelled to Albany in March to present their project to Assemblyman Stephen Hawley (left).

Kendall Wall plaques

Plaques representing the wars alternate with medallions for the military branches.

Kendall wall

The memorial is respectfully lit at night.

The memorial is respectfully lit at night.