by Rachel Hunter
Over 900 boots will be lined up alongside NY State Route 3 from Fine to Cranberry Lake on Saturday, July 13 to honor the sacrifice of veterans, active service members, prisoners of war, and those killed in action (represented by gold boots).
Organizer Kimberly Nolan said she has received support from American Legion Post 1539, Clifton-Fine Central School District, and community members and has also received grants from the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Damoth Fund to get the boot project started.
The idea came from her sister, Lori Sherman, the District 1 Department of Oregon President and was appointed ALA Department Chaplain Western Division, Unit 68 President for the 2018-2019 year. Lori started this project last year in their hometown of Clatskanie, Oregon.
“When I saw the end result of this project, it brought tears to my eyes and moved me in a way that I wanted to share this experience with everyone,” Nolan said. “I spoke with Lori and decided to bring this project from the West Coast to the East Coast, so that the people of my hometown now could share the love and respect of our servicemen and servicewomen who have fought for our country's freedom. Lori and I also dream that one day the states that separate us will join us in this project, and we will one day have veterans’ boots from one side of the states to the other.”
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 Kimberly Nolan will also honor the community's five WWII Veterans with a Quilt of Honor for all that they have done for our country…. They are Robert Noody, Amos Reil, Anthony “Hank” Moshano, Frederick Hall and Gordon Taylor. The quilts were made and donated by Jill Joseph, Debra Baldwin, Helene Delosh and Vicky Williams. Much gratitude is extended to these women for their endless labor of love that was put into each and every quilt that was made for each veteran.
There will also be some copies of the “HOME TOWN NEWS” for sale at the SOS building. The paper was published once a month in Newton Falls, NY by the Newton Falls Paper Mill and was sent to local men and women erving in the Armed Forces. Reported by Earl M. Cuglar, the publication consists of letters written from those serving in the Armed Forces, family members sharing information, births and death notices, and community news. Additionally, there will be some old WWI and WWII display items.
Much appreciation is extended to the Fort Drum Thrift Store and the Watertown Urban Mission for donating boots to this project, the Cranberry Library for donating laminating paper, the American Legion Post 1539 and Tim Graveline for the donation of flags.
Special gratitude is also extended to the army of volunteers, including the following local residents: Patti Beckman, Lisa Langevin, Marie Woods, Sharron Flynn, Penny Tanner, Pat Pomerville, Mark Friden, Naomi Pitts, Bill Gleason, Katherine Peabody, Alice Galvin, Brittany Jaquith, Breanna Jaquith, Emily Kerr, Andrea Kerr, Destiny Verne Leatta LaParr, Jimmy Backus, Sue Dumke, Anne Hynes, Lori Aman and Lynn King for their endless hours helping to put this project together.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Nolan said. “This is our first year so I apologize, in advance, for the names that we might have misspelled and the flags that didn’t have a boot. I hope we will have all that we need for next year’s Field Days, and again I want to thank all the veterans for making our country what it is today... we couldn't be the “Land Of The Free” without you!”