Growing up Kenney Field (Walter M. Kenny Field) was a place where my family would go to play. I have many memories of my Mom taking us there to play on the playground, the big airplane we would climb on and a train that used to be there as well. We'd go fly kites and enjoy a nice day in Tonawanda. It is located right on the corner of Brighton Road and Colvin Avenue. (Currently there is a Family Video across the street, and then a plaza with a chocolate store, DiPaulo's Pizza and a massage place)
Over time the Field has changed and been utilized for other purposes. Soccer leagues play there throughout the year, football games for the Town are played there and they redid the fields.
At some point, I'm not sure when, the train was removed, and more recently the airplane (which is a Korean War Era Grumman F9F-6P Cougar Naval airframe that has been on display there since 1959) was restored and fenced in. It is no longer available to the public as a part of a "playground" that kids can climb on.
More recently, they constructed The Town of Tonawanda Veterans Memorial behind the airplane. The Memorial was set up for members of the Town to pay tribute to their relatives, friends and fellow Americans who sacrificed their lives serving their country.
The current finished product was finished back in 2010 and has numerous areas to add new names to. Around the memorial there are numerous benches and small trees that people purchased in Honor or In Memory of a soldier.
I took an afternoon and spent some time down at the Memorial, looking at the names, remembering stories I have heard, and reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial is powerful and a good place to visit if you are involved in the military, have friends or family involved, are a history buff, or just want to pay your respects.
The playrground in the area has been updated and it is still a popular place for Tonawanda families to spend an afternoon.
If you are in the area, make the stop to check out The Memorial and airplane.
Thank you to all the men and women who so bravely fought for and are still fighting for our safety. Your strength and willingness to defend what our country stands for overwhelms me.
We will never forget all our brave soliders have done for us.
I have no connection to the Memorial, wasn't part of any planning or fundraising for it, but I have included the link to donate to it if it is something you would be interested in: