Veterans honor roll dedicated in Cohocton

Bob Clark

For the first time in years, there is something permanent to dedicate Cohocton, N.Y.’s long history of veterans.

The Cohocton Historical Society was joined by more than 100 residents Sunday afternoon to open the Cohocton Veterans Honor Roll in Mapleview Cemetery.

Diane Zeh, historical society president who lead the charge to build the memorial, said 560 names are listed on the six wall panels in the new memorial.

In addition to residents and 23 World War II veterans, U.S. Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, R-29, and state Assemblyman James Bacalles, R-Corning, were on hand to speak of veterans’ sacrifices and the community’s efforts to remember them.

“People have asked me who my heroes are,” Kuhl said. “And it’s not Michael Jackson or Reggie Jackson or some other athlete or star.

“These people up here should be your heroes,” he added, pointing to the World War II veterans sitting near him. “I know they’re mine.”

The last veterans memorial in Cohocton was dedicated in July 1943, but was taken down several years later. Since then, there has been no monument to the veterans of the town, besides a World War II-era howitzer in Mapleview Cemetery.

“We are a very visual country,” Bacalles said. “Some day, people will be walking through here and their children will ask, ‘What is that?’ and they will learn.

“This is a lasting testament and memorial to those who served our country,” he continued.

World War II veteran Norbert “Zeke” Evans also spoke to the crowd.

“Every veteran on this wall or here today holds a special place in someone’s heart,” he said, adding the community needs to remember those who served more often than just Memorial Day.

Also joining the spectators were the color guards from the Wayland American Legion post and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, as well as firefighters from the surrounding area.

Following the ceremony, residents went to the Cohocton Lions Club pavillion for a lunch of pork barbecue and salt potatoes.