Plan changes for Veterans Monument in Lewiston

Contributed imageA rendering of the Academy Park Veterans Memorial Monument in the Village of Lewiston. It's expected to be completed by Veterans Day.

VILLAGE OF LEWISTON — An unforeseen move is now underway for the Academy Park Veterans Memorial Monument in the Village of Lewiston after a waterline was discovered under the monument which was slated to be updated by this coming Veterans Day.

The newly renovated memorial will be built closer to the front of the park, very close to the Tuscarora Heroes Monument.

“It’s going to be the same kind of design, it’s actually going to face more toward the Tuscarora Monument where the cannon is in Academy Park,” Vince Canosa, member of the VFW Downriver Post 7487 said. “It’s right at the entrance.“ 

Canosa said that everything is going forward and will be done before Veterans Day this year.

Some of the upgrades to the monument are a 23-foot “Circle of Honor” installed in front of the names of veterans that have since passed. The “Eternal Flame” now burning behind a glass wall will be placed inside the stone itself. 

“The flame is going to be high enough up in the stone that you’ll be able to see it at nighttime,” Canosa said. “If you’re up at the end of the park and you’re walking to Tops you should be able to see the flame that’s the one thing we really wanted.” 

According to Canosa, the entire project will cost a little more than $215,000 and is being paid with $100,000 of Niagara River Greenway funds from the Town of Lewiston, $30,000 from Niagara County, and more than $80,000 in personal donations. Canosa said that no extra cost was accrued by this move. 

“The good thing for us is when we signed the contact, the contract said we’re paying this particular price and if anything happens, if anything comes up, that our contractor will eat it,” Canosa said. “It’s Rocco DelGrosso. He’s probably not making much money on this, I don’t think he’s making any. As soon as he heard what we wanted to do, he became invested in the project and wanted to make sure it got done.” 

The monument is also a stop for bikers riding along River Road from Buffalo. 

“We’re going to put up a bike rack so that people coming down the trail which they’re working on the Parkway right now (can come up),” Canosa said. “It’s is going to come down Lewiston then run-down Center St. right to the river. By the time it’s all done, you can go from Buffalo to Fort Niagara on a bike ride if you want. We want to be part of it.”

Canosa also said that without the Town and Village of Lewiston, the project would never have gotten off the ground.

“I just want to express that the Town of Lewiston and the Village of Lewison helped,” Canosa said. “They helped a lot.”