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MT. ZION â€“Â While much of the focus of Saturday afternoon's Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Zion Historical Park was on the dedication of the Vietnam memorial monument, there was also some discussion focused on the future and the dedication of the park's next memorial, which is scheduled to happen in September.
The Honorable Richard A. Masson, 59th Judicial District President Judge and member of the Elk County Bucktail Civil War Memorial Committee, briefly addressed the crowd regarding the effort to create a monument honoring all of the area residents who served with Company G of the Elk County Rifles during the Civil War. The individuals who joined this group were the first from this area to offer their lives to fight for their country.
"You have to remember that Elk County was not created until 1843," Masson explained. "While the Mexican War took place in the mid-1840s, I'm not aware of any citizen of Elk County who served in the United States Army in that war. However, within a matter of days after the firing on Fort Sumter in April of 1861, over 100 men from Elk County heeded Thomas Kane's call to arms."
According to Masson, these men "formed the core of what became Company G."
"They were known as the Elk County Rifles, and they became part of the 13th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment, more commonly known as the Bucktails," Masson said.
Masson announced during Saturday's ceremony that the memorial for the Bucktails will be dedicated on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
"I'm pleased to report that the stone itself is here. It is with Korb Monuments in DuBois. The narrative for that stone has been provided to Mr. Korb. We have made substantial and significant progress in really taking a concept, and that's all it was two years ago, and we will see the fruition of the efforts and vision of a very, very dedicated group of people," Masson said.
He added that, by the monument's dedication in September, a new walkway will hopefully be constructed at the park to connect it to the existing walkway.
Masson also briefly reflected on the purpose of Memorial Day by recalling a recent trip he made to Pittsburgh.