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Apr 11, 2018 10:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Local Woman Looks To Honor Polish Veterans On A Memorial Wall

Thea Dombrowski-Fry is in search of a few good names to add to the Polish War Veteran Memorial located in the back of the Sacred Hearts Cemetery on County Road 39 in Southampton. GREG WEHNER
Apr 11, 2018 11:03 AM

Our Lady of Poland Roman Catholic Church in Southampton will celebrate its 100th anniversary later this year, and as part of the celebration, one woman is tackling an effort to honor the community’s Polish veterans.Thea Dombrowski-Fry, a member of the parish, is looking for names to add to a memorial wall toward the back of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Cemetery off County Road 39 in Southampton. Erected in October 1951, the memorial wall honors Polish war veterans from the Southampton area. It was updated a few years back and includes names of those who served from World War I through the Vietnam War.

“During the campaign, the wall was brought to my attention,” said Ms. Dombrowski-Fry, who ran for Southampton Town Board last year. “I decided, with some research and help from family and friends, I would honor our local Southampton veterans.”

Though Ms. Dombrowski-Fry and her husband are not veterans, she comes from a long line of family members who served in the armed forces. When researching the wall, she first went to her father, veteran Thomas Dombrowski, who told her everything he knew about the wall. After that, she asked her father’s brother, Gene Dombrowski, also a veteran, and she kept going until finding out that nobody was officially in charge of updating the Polish memorial wall.

That’s when Ms. Dombrowski-Fry decided to take on the project and volunteered to take responsibility, as well as making sure it is maintained. Though the wall is in pretty bad shape, she said, there is nothing “that a little love and some flowers” couldn’t resolve.

Ms. Dombrowski-Fry wanted little credit for the effort, wanting to keep the focus on the veterans and all they have done for the United States.

“It is important to me that they are not forgotten,” she said. “They are going to be remembered now for generations.”

Any person who is Polish, a veteran and a member of the Polish Legion of American Veterans is eligible to have his or her name added to the wall, she said. There is a cost associated with etching new names, in the range of $150.

Anyone interested in having the name of a Polish veteran etched onto the wall should contact Ms. Dombrowski-Fry by emailing her at frythea@yahoo.com.

“What fuels me to take on this project is my patriotism,” she said. “I love the United States of America, and I love the Town of Southampton. I feel blessed to be here and am thankful for the veterans and their sacrifices.”

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