John Rigas, August 22, 2006

A Worthy Community Project

During this year’s Memorial Day ceremonies, I was struck more than ever by the majesty of the Civil War monument
on the Courthouse Square.  Once again, only this time with heightened appreciation, I marveled at the sight of the
Union soldier soaring gracefully toward Heaven, lifted by an elegantly-shaped column of near-perfect proportions.  I
reflected how extraordinary it was for a small town like Coudersport to have such an impressive structure gracing its
town center.  Yet, while unusual, it is also perfectly fitting.  Among northern United States counties, Potter County
boasted one of the highest percentages of citizens fighting on the Union side.  The monument is a testament to this
achievement, an enduring memorial to those many soldiers who sacrificed comfort and life itself to preserve the union
and to end slavery.  

I have long thought that what has been done for Potter County’s Civil War veterans should be extended to the County’
s veterans from other wars.  I remember when the names of Potter County’s veterans were written on the wall of the
old Rexall Drug Store, and I was disappointed when they were removed.  Since then, several opportunities to do
something lasting and meaningful for Potter County’s war veterans have been lost.  I am therefore delighted to hear that
Ralph Caldwell and other Potter County residents are attempting to establish a memorial for these veterans.  Those
participating in this long-overdue project to preserve a major piece of the County’s heritage deserve our praise, our
gratitude, and our support.