SWOYERSVILLE — Swoyersville mayor Chris Concert is hoping to install two memorial stones in honor of area coal miners and veterans at the borough building.
Concert said it is a way of remembering those who were willing to give their lives for their country, their families and their borough.
The two memorials won’t list specific names, but, instead, be a means for families of all coal miners and veterans to stop for a moment of retrospection about their loved ones.
The memorial stones will be flanked by a bench being donated to provide a spot for residents to enjoy the memorials and the area around the borough building.
Concert’s goal is to raise $5,000 for the cost of the project and so far has collected over $2,000.
He points out that much of those donations have been in increments of $100 and under, from family members – many who have a story to tell.
“I’m hearing about grandparents that were lost in World War II, family members who died in Iraq, parents who have lost children. So many stories.” Concert said. “I’ve also heard from families whose grandfathers died in the coal mines in an effort to to improve the quality of the lives of future generations and young people who need to work in the mines to support struggling families. ”
Concert said veterans and coal miners deserve much more than a simple marker, but this is his way of ensuring that future generations will remember the sacrifices made by their forefathers.
Most of those donations came from Swoyersville residents, but many also came from surrounding areas and beyond.
One donation, Concert said, is being sent from Florida.
Concert hopes to have the funds to order both memorial stones by March 15. Each stone will be about three-feet in width.
Concert said the idea came to him last year when he realized that there were no memorials for coal miners or veterans on borough property, in an area where both groups were a key part of history.
Those who would like to contribute can do so by check made out to Swoyersville borough, including “Coalminers” in the memo line, with those funds applied to both memorial stones.
Checks can be mailed to Christopher Concert at 131 Simpson St., Swoyersville, PA 18704 or those wishing to contribute can text Concert at 570-239-4124.