MANCHESTER – A local Life Scout is asking his community to help him finish his project to become an Eagle Scout.
Seventeen-year-old high school senior Kyle Rembach has been in Boy Scouts since he was 11. He’s part of Troop 350 in Whiting that meets at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. He’s the youngest of four brothers, all of whom are Eagle Scouts.
His project to becoming an Eagle Scout is to recreate a monument that honors those from Manchester who served in World War II.
“I was in communications with Al Yodakis at town hall and I was told there was something originally that was put up for [those who served in World War II] that was taken down, so I thought, okay, put something back up, because now there was nothing,” Kyle said.
There was a wooden plaque with those 60-some names years ago, but it fell into disrepair and now only exists in a photograph.
Kyle’s granite pedestal and bronze plaque will sit on a concrete slab that will be constructed and connected to the existing monument at the World War II Veterans Memorial Park on Lake Road in Whiting (up the street from Harry Wright Lake Park).
The World War II Veterans Memorial Park expanded to 30 acres from its original 10 in 2006. The centerpiece of the park is the bronze statue of an infantryman, referred to as “the grunt,” encircled by seven granite walls dedicated to each branch of the service.
The style of Kyle’s monument will match the existing aesthetics of the park.
“In World War II, there were residents of Manchester who became veterans, they went and they served in the armed services,” Kyle’s father, Kevin Rembach, said. “So they lived here, they went off to war, and then they came back.”
So the township had an “honor roll” of those who served. That plaque was installed at the old town hall annex at the corner of Manchester Boulevard and Route 530. The wooden structure aged and was taken down and sat at the public works garage for years.
Kyle worked with Joseph Uras Monuments in Toms River for the granite pedestal, and Erie Landmark Company, a division of Paul W. Zimmerman Foundries in Columbia, Pennsylvania.
Kyle has been working on this project for two years. He’s raising $4,000 for this project and hopes to have it completed, with all the funds raised, by early July.
They’re planning to have to plaque dedicated on Veterans Day.
“The Honor Board that Kyle is proposing is a new take on the original honor board which was displayed in town, but had to be taken done when it fell into disrepair. Our World War II park is the perfect location to further honor our veterans with this project,” Manchester Public Works director Al Yodakis said. “Kyle has done a commendable job in bringing this project together. It is good to see an Eagle Scout candidate create something that will benefit and honor generations of township veterans.”
Donations can be made at gofundme.com/manchester-township-honor-roll.
According to The National Eagle Scout Association, “Eagle Scout” was not at first considered a rank, but was a special award for earning 21 scout badges. (Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910.) The requirements morphed through the years. More than 50,000 boys earn the Eagle Scout Award annually, with the 2 millionth Eagle Scout named in 2009.