GLENS FALLS — The mission to build the Global War on Terrorism Monument is finally completed, thanks to a local construction union.
The monument in Crandall Park was designed by Loiselle Monuments and is dedicated to people who have been killed in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and in the overall war on terrorism.
The project was nearly finished except for a sidewalk leading up to and around the 6-foot-tall black granite structure.
An original contractor was unable to complete the job, and Belinda Cole, co-director of the Global War on Terrorism Monument Organization, had difficulty finding someone to take on the job. After a Post-Star story about the project earlier this month, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2 agreed to do it for free.
“Within 24 hours, I had a name and a phone number. A week later, it was done,” she said.
Bricklayers Local 2 Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Potter said the union has done other projects, such as the pavers in front of the SUNY Adirondack Gulf Wars Memorial and the walkway at the Albany County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Albany.
“It’s a no-brainer for us to do that for the veterans,” he said.
The cement was poured last Thursday and the walkway finished on Saturday.
Cole said if it was not for unions such as Bricklayers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 291, which did the foundation for the monument, the project would not have been completed.
Belinda Cole and her husband, Dan Cole, who is a member of Local 291, took turns watching the site to make sure it was undisturbed.
Belinda said it was “very awesome” that the project has been completed.
“I am completely relieved and happy. I was there the entire day Saturday and I cried,” she said.
Potter said workers who volunteered their time included Bricklayers Local 2 President Pat Tirino, Local 2 organizer Woodrow Miller III, Local 2 apprentice coordinator Matt Zink and Local 2 members Paul Lawrence, Roger Merrithew, Jeff Seeley, Brant Abbanatte and Paul Krowel. Local 2 contractor RS Masonry, and Rusty Sanders, owner of Action Equipment, donated equipment needed to complete the project. Bentley Property Maintenance did the excavation and Howard Excavating donated the crushed stone.
There is still some landscaping to finish up, according to Cole. Two trees had to be removed to install the monument. Cole said the monument organization plans to make a donation to the Crandall Park Beautification Committee so bushes or other landscaping can be purchased. New basketball and tennis courts are being installed, and Cole said the committee wants the new landscaping to match.
The idea for the monument was conceived in 2012 by former South Glens Falls resident Steven Dean, a retired U.S. Navy officer who was stationed in Afghanistan in 2007.
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