During the late 1990’s, Bill and Pat DeHaven (life long residents of Berwyn) were concerned that a veteran marker had no permanent home, and they came up with the idea of doing something special for the local area veterans. The idea was to erect a flag in honor of area veterans.
Berwyn is one of a few villages that did not have a memorial dedicated to all servicemen and women who had served and may have given their lives for our country. There was a memorial for WWI that seemed to move around the Township, but had no permanent site.
The DeHavens recruited local veterans to help with the effort. The original plan grew into an idea to build on a listing of veterans from the Tredyffrin-Easttown area as it has been constituted over the last 300 plus years. A site was chosen at the SEPTA Train Station in Berwyn at the Route 30 side of the railroad bridge overpass. Then the real work began. Approvals were obtained over a two year period from Easttown Township, SEPTA, and Amtrak. Funds were then obtained through fundraising, donations, and a special grant from the Chester County Tourism Bureau.
Construction of the Memorial was completed in the Summer of 2005, and an official dedication ceremony took place on Saturday September 10, 2005. You can see pictures of the construction and dedication in the PAST EVENTS section. Hundreds of dignitaries and local citizens attended the dedication, which included honor guards and re-enactors from various world conflicts.
The Memorial is a modern 28 foot high, three dimensional arch made of stainless steel, anchored to a foundation. An American flag hangs prominently in the justify or middle of the arch. The site also includes three distinct stones. The first is the six foot high fieldstone honoring veterans who were called to service during WW I from the community
A second matching fieldstone was prepared honoring veterans who were killed while serving in WW II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. A third stone made of black granite was also installed. This stone was erected with purpose--- as it is meant to represent the future. The stone is blank today as our local community has not suffered any losses due to combat deaths since the Vietnam War. Our prayer is that the black granite stone is forever blank.
Architectural services were donated by Lyman Perry Architects, Ltd. Berwyn, PA. Florig Steel of Conshohocken,PA. provided the construction at cost with additional time and effort donated.
Since the Memorial was dedicated, an additional small garden was added at the site and is dedicated to the late John Lamborn whose family has been a part of the village for many years. John was a founding member of the organization. Additionally, a tree was planted in the SEPTA parking lot as a replacement for the tree that served as the center for the Berwyn Christmas celebration each year. A stone was also placed near the tree commemorating the GOLD STAR MOTHERS----a national organization dedicated to the mothers of those who lost a son or daughter in the service of their country.
An additional garden was also installed at the North end of the SEPTA pedestrian bridge to enhance the overall experience of visiting the site. Just about any time of the year brings visitors to the Memorial to reflect on those who have served. Many veterans return to see the names of those they served with at various times.
On September 26, 2009, the original DeHaven idea of erecting a Garrison Flag in honor of area veterans was realized. A 20 by 38 foot flag on an 80 foot high pole was officially dedicated at Wilson Farm Park in Tredyffrin Township. The site is dedicated to Bill and Pat DeHaven for their years of service to the Berwyn community. Plantings have subsequently been added as well as lighting and a dedicated watering system.
Future plans are constantly being developed to enhance all sites, as well as maintaining them in perpetuity. Additionally, the mission of helping veterans and their families is being pursued.