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Red Hill Couple Dedicate Themselves to Veterans Memorial
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-05-20

            Whenever the calendar turns to May, Sandy Bergey's attention turns to Red Hill's Veterans Memorial. For more than 35 years, the borough resident and her

Sandra and Kermit Bergey at Red Hill's Veterans Memorial.  They have been get-

ting it ready for Memorial Day for more than 35 years.

husband Kermit have worked to clean up the monument and the surrounding area near the intersection of 5th and Main streets in advance of the annual Memorial Day parade.

            Even though this year's ceremonies have been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19, the couple continues its work pulling weeds, planting flowers and cleaning a slate walkway. Sandy Bergey figures she's already invested 12 hours but says her work is far from completed.

            "It has to meet my approval," she said.

            A resident of the Upper Perkiomen Valley for most of her life, Sandy and her

Sandy Bergey pulls weeds from the flower bed.

husband volunteer their time to make the memorial look nice because it reflects well on Red Hill. She said the couple, who live on Fourth Street, wants it to be a nice place to visit.

            "Our main objective is to honor the veterans," said Sandy, whose father fought in World War II, brother served in the U.S. Army and husband served in the Marines.

            Sandy said she's been keeping the memorial clean since her three kids – all currently in their 50s – were teenagers.  She remembers walking past it on a summer day and noticing that it needed some TLC.

            "I decided I better start pulling some weeds," said Sandy, 78, a 1959 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School.

            On Monday, she was on her hands and knees pulling tall grass from a flower

Kermit Bergey does a some masonary repair around the

stones of the memorial. 

bed along the monument's outer walkway.

            "The grass is really well-rooted," Sandy said. "Sometimes I think I need dynamite."

            Kermit Bergey, who turns 81 next month, repairs the masonry joints on the monument. He also sweeps the sidewalks and the gutter along Main Street to help make the entire area more presentable.

            Most years, the Red Hill Fire Company wets down the sidewalk the Wednesday before Memorial Day and the borough provides a fresh American flag, according to Sandy

            "It's a special thing to me," said Kermit, who served in the Marines from 1958 to 1961. "I know quite a few fellows who fought in World War II and Korea. I respected what that they did and what they went through."

            The memorial was sponsored and built by the Red Hill Servicemen's Memorial Committee at a cost of close to $4,000. The group sponsored plays and staged other benefit events to fund the stone memorial, which was dedicated on Nov. 1, 1949.

            It bears the names of veterans from Red Hill who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam on land donated by businessman John P. Kline. A former school teacher and miller, Kline and his partner Lucian Miller built a three-story building (that now houses the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library) to manufacturing cigars. Kline also served as secretary of the Red Hill Council and the school board and was one of the organizers of the Red Hill Board of Trade.

            Over the years the Perkiomen Valley Joint Veterans Council, comprised of Post 5954 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 184 of the American Legion, and the Tri-Boro Detachment of the Marine Corps League, held services at the monument every year on Memorial Day. 


 

 

 

 

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