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December 11, 2017
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A living monument to honored dead

Alan Havilland of Havilland Building and Remodeling is pictured on November 10, as he and a crew finalized the work on the Wayne County Walk of Honor, which was dedicated on Veterans’ Day.
TRR photo by David Hulse

By DAVID HULSE
November 16, 2016

HONESDALE, PA — There are thousands of inscribed names, but none will be engraved on stone or metal monuments along the newly dedicated memorial to Wayne County’s deceased armed service veterans.

The Wayne County Walk of Honor, located on Court Street adjacent to the courthouse, is a different kind of public memorial in several ways. For one thing, “It’s priceless,” said volunteer Alan Havilland. All of the work involved and materials employed were donated.

Another difference is that the walk is a genealogical tool. The idea was to find records or evidence of every Wayne veteran buried in the county or a Wayne native in a national cemetery, from the American Revolution up until today.

Before the first shovel turned earth, there was a lot work required in putting together the Wayne County Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) project. It took a year and a half to organize it. Searching county cemeteries—where markers don’t always indicate service—and records that might fill the gaps, volunteers came up with “about 6,800 to 7,200 names. I don’t know the number for sure,” said Havilland, whose spouse, Rochelle Havilland, is a BPW officer.

Those names, dates of birth and death and a code representing the burial cemetery were put in alphabetical order and inscribed on plastic sheets, to be placed under protective viewing covers and installed on 10 pedestals. Viewers can find names and then go to an index pedestal, where the names and locations of all the county’s some 150 cemeteries are listed.

Finally, another difference is the ongoing nature of the walk; as new veterans pass on, their names and information will be recorded and added to an interim roll on one of six other pedestals at the head of the walk. After five or 10 years, as needed, the entire alphabetic roll will be updated and reposted.

The BPW has created a website, walkofhonor.wixsite.com/waynecounty, where a 189-page PDF file containing all of the veterans’ names and information, as well as a newsletter for information about the walk; and an email address, wcwalkofhonor@gmail.com, to accept changes or additions to the roll.