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Lockport memorial committee getting down to business

LOCKPORT – The city’s new memorial committee has almost completed its membership roster and will hold its first meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick said at Wednesday’s Common Council session.

Genewick, R-5th Ward, and Alderwoman Kathryn J. “Kitty” Fogle, R-3rd Ward, are co-chairmen of the 11-member panel, whose assignments are to come up with a location and a plan for a Fallen Heroes Memorial and also to set criteria for honoring citizens who give their lives in the line of duty.

The panel was set up last week, after a controversy over a memorial for Lockport native Patricia Parete, a Buffalo police officer who died Feb. 2, six years after a bullet in the neck left her paralyzed.

High school classmates of Parete’s suggested renaming a park for her. The Council refused and offered a fountain in Outwater Park, which currently doesn’t work.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said, “That part of the park is very serene, very nice. I think the fountain will be some part of the memorial.”

He said the available space near the overlook at the brink of the Niagara Escarpment also offers the possibility for future expansion of the memorial if necessary.

Genewick said the city already has many unofficial memorials. He said Deputy Niagara County Historian Craig Bacon has given him a list of 82 existing memorials in Lockport, not counting streets, parks and bridges named after someone.

Tucker said Stedman Nursery of Newfane has donated landscape architecture services for the Fallen Heroes Memorial, and other companies have also offered donations.

The members of the committee, besides Genewick, Fogle and Bacon, will be Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert; Luca Quagliano of the Fire Department; Zoning Board member Sheila Tracy; Marietta Schrader, Board of Education member and wife of Alderman Patrick W. Schrader; prominent resident Anthony Sammarco; Douglas Haak, representing the American Legion; and members to be named from the Navy-Marine Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.