Youngsters pay tribute

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WEST MILFORD-As monuments go, the one honoring World War II veterans of the Pinecliff Lake community here isn't particularly big, or imposing. It stands about five feet tall and occupies a modest amount of space at the southern edge of the Pinecliff Lake Community Club. diate area is, and by the names of the 100 residents who served their nation during the largest war in history. But, the ravages of time had so tarnished the bronze plaque the names were virtually unreadable according to local resident John Paul Goebel, 74. Since he had a vested interest in the monument, in part including two brothers listed on it, he took action. Goebel enlisted the help of two young neighbors, Katelyn Kelly and Sidnie Foster. The two students paid their Veterans' Day tribute to people they never knew by spending hours sanding the bronze so the veterans' names shine brightly today as they did when the monument was dedicated. Goebel and his sister Audrey were youngsters themselves when, as he recalls, they and other teenagers manned the clubhouse concession stand for four years during World War II. Due to rationing, the usual concession-stand fare, including hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas and ice cream weren't available, he recalls. Instead, the youngsters sold Kool-Aid at five cents per cup for all those years to raise funds to pay for the bronze plaque. "Charlie Clery build the memorial and put in the finished plaque," Goebel recalls. Clery died in 1959 and has a small memorial plaque with his name that sits at the foot of the paved walkway to the main monument to those who served.