Commissioners support initiative

Elk County Commissioners Wednesday morning announced their unwavering support for the creation of an educational center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C."We endorse that project, the need for an educational center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial," said Elk County Commissioner Ronald T. Beimel. "The Wall is the most visited memorial in our nation's capital and there are 3,146 soldiers from Pennsylvania who proudly gave their lives and service to our country during Vietnam. "The dedication of the Wall nearly 30 years ago began the process of remembrance and healing and honoring those who served and died in the longest war in U.S. history."For Beimel, the education center would "tell the stories of the names on the Wall and draw attention to the sacrifices made by those who defend our freedom." "The center would display the legacies of the 58,267 casualties memorialized on the Wall," Beimel said, "and there would be an artifact collection of more than 100,000 items left at the Wall as well as related educational material."The commissioners agreed that the stories and values showcased in the education center must be preserved for future generations."Elk County strongly endorses the goal of the educational center at the Wall and supports this project to commemorate the sacrifices of those who served, those who fell and those who waited for them at home," Beimel said.According to fellow Commissioner June H. Sorg, the resolution supporting the education center initiative comes from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania."There is a veterans' committee that Ron [Beimel] participates on and it's an important issue," Sorg said.The commissioners also discussed an upcoming meeting regarding Marcellus Shale. Sorg said the Marcellus Shale Task Force is planning on a meeting June 15 at St. Marys Area Middle School. Speakers will be Mike Donovan from Seneca Resources on Marcellus Shale 101, Jim Clark from Penn State Cooperative Extension on water resources, and [county solicitor] Tom Wagner on leasing.