By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Paver stones added to Lincoln Park’s Heritage Plaza this year, and dedicated May 22, have the added recognition of bearing a centennial designation, as the city celebrates its 100th year.
Members of the Historical Commission, the Historical Society, elected officials and residents gathered at noon to dedicate the new pavers, and to ring the memorial bell in honor of veterans.
Museum curator Jeff Day said that six years ago, the Heritage Plaza paver stone dedication was begun, and added to the annual May memorial bell ringing event.
“This year, we tied in the centennial of Lincoln Park with this year’s dedication of pavers,” he said. “So, 25 of these that were just installed, are also dedicated in honor of the centennial, and you will see a reference to that at the top of each of those pavers, ‘Centennial 2021.’”
City Councilman Mike Higgins, who stepped in for Mayor Thomas Karnes, who was out-of-town, said it was an honor for him to speak during the city’s centennial year.
“It’s the centennial, and I truly believe in understanding where we are coming from, and for me, personally, it’s even more,” he said. “My mother helped found the museum, and helped put it together in its very infancy, before we even got this building, and my father, he got the bell donated, so, for me, this is a very personal thing.”
Higgins thanked the museum’s supporters for making it “the gem that it is.”
“There are things here that tell the true history of Lincoln Park,” he said. “And on our 100th anniversary, everyone should have a chance to come in and see where we’ve been.”
State Rep. Cara Clemente (D-14th District) said the paver and belling ringing traditions are “amazing.”
“Thank you for always having this, for paying tribute to people who have served and lost their life for all of us,” she said. “I think that is something that we just really need to think about, and especially tell our youth about.”
Clemente said that U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-12th District), who was hospitalized following emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer, would have loved to participate in the annual bell ringing.
“She usually is with me,” she said. “We are the dynamic duo.”
Day said that the bell is rung 10 times, then attendees are invited to take turns ringing the bell for a loved one who served in the military, either in the past or present.
Alyce Riggs of the Historical Commission and the Historical Society read aloud the names of 14 Historical Society members who died in the past year, including: Susan Adkins, Edith Andrews, Lucille Dokken, Alvina Jarrell, Pat Kush, Barbara Porath, Ethel Schiebold and Wanda Jean Wallace, plus members who were also veterans: Michael Busen, Joseph Clemente Jr., Lindley Hogan, Ronald Lobb, Ted Schave and Joseph Turnisky.
“There are 14 spots left open, so if there are 14 people who would like to fill those spots, we’ll be glad to have you,” Riggs said.
Day said the paver stones being dedicated pay tribute to those who played a part in the city’s past as well as those who are still playing a part in building the community.
“We look ahead to new days, new growth and the continued diversity that enriches the community of Lincoln Park,” he said.
Day said they missed last year’s ceremony because of the pandemic.
“I guess this is something we can celebrate, being back together,” he said. “We have more good times coming.”
Day said the Lincoln Park Historical Museum will reopen June 26, and the Historical Society will be offering events throughout the upcoming year to help celebrate the city’s centennial.
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