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Franklin Memorial Park

A memorial park honoring a local hero recently suffered vandalism according to locals.

The park is honor of Sergeant Michael Strank, who is known for his involvement in raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War Two.

The Sgt. Michael Strank Memorial Park is to honor the legacy and sacrifice of Marine Corps. veteran and Franklin Borough native, Michael Stank. Strank is known as being one of the four men in the historic picture of the American Flag being raised in Iwo Jima during World War Two. Recently, Conemaugh Valley Detachment 287 of the Marine Crops. took over operations of the park.

“We decided to fix it up nice. It had no lights. It’s like a ghost town.” “Ever since we put new lights, we had a lot of veterans who came down and we got a lot of compliments. We feel good about it and I feel good about it too,” said Marine Corps. member, William Pertuniak.

Petruniak and his detachment spent countless hours and a large sum of money fixing up the park.

“I enjoy it. It paints a lot of memories when I was in the corps. And I spoke with a lot of veterans and they thanked us for bringing this park back to life again,” said Pertuniak.

But this week, those who check on the park regularly, noticed something was different.

“Some of the lights were vandalized and broken. I wasn’t too happy about it. So, I came down to see what kind of damage it was, and I looked. That light’s broken this light is broken. I was really upset about it,” said Pertuniak.

With the help of the community and Lowe’s in Johnstown, the park’s lights will soon be shinning again, so everyone can enjoy the memorial.

“For the veterans, for the public, and all that. Bring their kids. And tell a little story about Sgt. Strank and all that, what he went through to keep us alive,” said Pertuniak.

The Sgt. Michael Strank Memorial Park is located in Franklin Borough on Main Street.

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