GRAND ISLAND, N.Y.-- The DeGlopper Memorial Site in Grand Island is gearing up for its big new addition, due in no small part to the efforts being made at a local high school.
Charles N DeGlopper, a former Grand Island resident, was a soldier with the United States Army, who received the Medal of Honor after sacrificing his life for his troop in the Battle of Normandy.
Next up for the DeGlopper Memorial: a monument to recognize all of the past Grand Island residents who served the United States in any war and lost their lives for their country.
Fourteen to sixteen soldiers will be etched in glass panels, as part of a collaboration between several Grand Island businesses and the students of Grand Island High School.
The panels themselves were thought up by senior student designer Ruby Benz.
"We laser it onto the glass, so we can flip it over," said Ruby, who already has access to a machine in her class that etches designs and logos onto glass cups as an in-class project. "We're going to do the same process, and we're going to etch in the glass and get it tempered and everything so it's weather resistant, and so people can't vandalize it."
"I'm just impressed," said Ray DeGlopper, Charles' nephew, who recalled very few memories of his uncle during the 1940s. Ray was only 4 years old when his uncle died, and memorializing Charles' memory alongside other Grand Island residents give him and other family members a chance to learn more about the history of local war heroes. "I'm overwhelmed with what these kids are doing."
If you'd like to help donate to the memorial site, you can visit here to learn more.