Cherry Hill Public Library seeks submissions to create Veteran Wall of Honor

The library will display photos of military members, past and present, for six months

By Sean Devlin, The Sun

A wall in the lower level of the Cherry Hill Public Library will soon be adorned with the faces of local military members, past and present.

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In late July, the library posted a call for submissions to create a Veterans Wall of Honor. With the hope of collecting at least 300 submissions, librarian Claire Schmieder said, “The library is here to serve the community. We are excited to take on this project.”

Veterans, active members and family and friends of military members — alive or passed — are encouraged to submit 5 x 7 photos and information about their branch, rank and other details describing their military service.

“It’s a great community project to connect to all of our veterans whether they fought in World War II, the Gulf War or more recent conflicts. It is a nice way to draw a large group of people across all age groups,” she said.

Library employees, through funding provided by the Friends of the Cherry Hill Public Library, are designing borders for the photos that will be arranged in a timeline on the wall ending with photos of more recent or present military members.

An unveiling ceremony and reception is in the planning stages and set for Sunday, Nov. 18.

The wall will be a temporary focal point at the library available to the public for six months.

Schmieder said following the six months, she hopes to collect the photos and information and bind a book for display in the library.

The library’s public relations director, Suzanne Fox, said, “We have had meetings with some members of the council from our township, and they have been instrumental in connecting us with veterans in the area. It is a really good outreach program for the community.”

Schmieder said she has been in the process of reaching out to local organizations to spread the word about the project.

“We’ve received a positive response,” she said, and noted that in the first 10 days, the library received 25 submissions.

Applications are available online at https://chplnj.org/vets_wall, or physical copies are available at the library.

Schmieder said as long as someone has lived in Cherry Hill at some point — or, Delaware Township — they are eligible.

At the unveiling of the wall on Nov. 18, local photographer, Richard Bell will showcase his book “The Last Veteran.” Bell’s book is a collection of photographs of World War II veterans.

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 4.

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