A new four-legged friend welcomes visitors to Lasdon Park in Katonah.
In June, Westchester County Executive George Latimer unveiled the statue of a World War II service dog named Chips at the park’s Trail of Honor. The statue, created by sculptor Lena Toritch, was erected in commemoration of military dogs that have served alongside US service personnel.
“The statue of Chips is a small way that we all can pay tribute to our military dogs and honor the bond that exists between our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors and their K-9 companions.”
Back in March, Latimer announced the creation of the statue on “National K-9 Veterans Day,” adding that more than $40,000 had been raised by Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum for the cause. He also commented on the service of military K-9s, saying, “Many of these dogs continue to serve long after they’ve returned home, helping our disabled veterans. The statue of Chips is a small way that we all can pay tribute to our military dogs and honor the bond that exists between our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors and their K-9 companions.”
The county executive seized the sentimental opportunity to wax philosophic on the state of the country as a whole. “The only linkage that I feel today with [Chips’] story and [the veteran’s] story is that we are flawed people. We’re a flawed country and a flawed everything. We’re human beings; we’re not meant to be perfect. But this is fundamentally a good country. This is fundamentally a country made up of people — whatever our backgrounds are, however we may disagree in one way or another — who fundamentally want good things.”
Funds for the approximately 150 lb, 45” bronze memorial were raised to honor the family of Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, who brought Chips home after World War II.