Newkirk (Pa.) Memorial

Newkirk (Pa.) Memorial

About 1.5 miles west of Tamaqua lies the small unincorporated coal village of Newkirk, Pa. Newkirk is unique in many ways, one of them being not falling victim to the sprawl and development of our modern days.

Newkirk is also an epitome of patriotism. On a brief ride on old Route 209, and Newkirk's two or three back streets, this patriotism is visible through displays of American flags - big and small. What many people don't know is that through the hard work of a few people, Newkirk has a hidden gem that pays tribute and respect to our veterans.

It is estimated that since World War II, roughly half of Newkirk families have a member that has served their country. Somewhere around 2010, some former and current Newkirk residents got together and formulated the idea to create a memorial to those veterans.

Spearheaded by Joe Bickleman and Danny Farber, this memorial came into existence. This amazingly fitting display sits in the rear of the village against the backdrop of its once prosperous coal lands. Without any organizational sponsoring or funding, Joe and Danny started work on building the Newkirk Veterans Memorial. They enlisted the help of Joe's wife, Marlene, Danny Farber Jr. and Joel Farber and started building this tribute.

Joe Bickleman, a former Newkirk resident, is a lifetime American Legion member affiliated with CH Berry Post 173 in Tamaqua. Joe is also a Sons of The American Legion member of Squadron 173. He served during the Vietnam conflict from 1972-1976 and was discharged as Gunner's Mate 3. He has held various Legion offices, including post commander in the early 1990s. Joe is currently a de facto member of the Post 173 Executive Board as a past commander. He and his wife Marlene reside in Tamaqua and are great supporters of Legion activities.

Danny Farber is a retired coal equipment operator and still lives in Newkirk very near to the memorial. Danny served in the reserves from 1976-1982. His work skills came in handy transporting and setting the heavy slabs and displays that are part of the monument exhibit.

The memorial consists of the following flags: American, Pennsylvania Commonwealth, POW and service branches.