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    Walking track, memorial park dedicated to fallen Susquehanna County Soldier

    Walking track, memorial park dedicated to fallen Susquehanna County Soldier

    Courtesy Photo | Spc. William “Billy” Evans, a Pennsylvania National Guard Soldier, was killed by a...... read more read more

    HALLSTEAD, Pa. – Family members, friends and community members gathered here Sept. 23 to dedicate the new Spc. William “Billy” Evans Memorial Park.

    Evans, a Pennsylvania National Guard Soldier, was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, Iraq, on Sept. 19, 2005. He had just turned 22. Evans was active in track, band and choir and graduated from high school in 2002. His passion was photography and he dreamed of becoming a freelance photographer. He started a part-time job in high-school at a local photography business.

    The three-quarter-mile track and park was the fruition of many years of work according to Evans’ father Billie. “This project has been going for seven years. It took the work of a lot of volunteers as well as donations and fundraisers.”

    The park is situated on land that the Evans family used to live on in the early 1990s. The land was flooded and subsequently turned over to Great Bend Township that then through advocacy was turned into the memorial park.

    During the dedication, Evans’ mother Judy Parker spoke of her wish that no one would forget her son and her hope that those using the park will enjoy its beauty and think about the park’s namesake for generations to come.

    Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, spoke of Evans’ service and sacrifice. “You can’t measure [this kind of] service in years,” he said. “This is service above and beyond. We can’t measure the Evans family’s sacrifice and heartache.”

    Additional speakers echoed the sentiments of gratitude and respect for the young man who gave everything for his country. After the official ceremony, those in attendance were invited to take a lap around the new track and to a reception at American Legion Post 357.

    The ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries including: Sen. Lisa Baker, 20th District; Rep. Jonathan Fritz, 111th District; Tom Snyder, Commander American Legion Post 357; Retired Col. Martin Kane; Michael Armniak, Bluestone Gathering; Richard Elly, Director of Veterans Affairs for Susquehanna County; and Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall.

    Additional improvements are planned for the park including plantings and paving, according to Billie Evans. “I’m just so relieved and thankful it’s open. ROCK ON!”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.24.2017
    Date Posted: 09.24.2017 11:06
    Story ID: 249445
    Location: HALLSTEAD, PA, US 

    Web Views: 239
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