Sun, was sunk by a German submarine. Army Specialist Joseph
Tiefenthaler, 21, of Brooklawn, was killed in action during his
tour of duty in Vietnam on May 13, 1967.
veterans, along with more than 1,200 war veterans who died while
serving their country, can be found on a virtual memorial
complete with names, descriptions, photos and scanned copies of
newspaper articles thanks to the dedicated work of a Pennsauken
Cohen, 52, spent many years in Camden. One day, while paying a
visit to City Hall, he noticed that a veteran he knew was killed
in action was not listed on a veteran memorial there. That
inspired him to create his own memorial.
were people missing who had given their lives for this
country," said Cohen. "I thought that was pretty poor,
but now I understand what happened."
started his quest in 2002 by finding all the veteran memorials
in Camden County. From there, he would go to the historical
society and research each name.
more to these veterans than just a name," Cohen said.
"They had families, wives and children. They grew up in
his research, Cohen ran into several obstacles including, but
not limited to, incorrect information. One particular case, he
said, was that of Pvt. William Coonrod who was listed in a
county book, "Camden County in the Great War," from
Camden. Coonrod died at Camp Dix -- now Fort Dix -- from the
Spanish influenza on Oct. 5, 1918. However, further research
revealed that Coonrod was from Camden, NewYork, not New Jersey.
guy is on our county memorial although he's never stepped foot
here," said Cohen, "but that's OK. It's an honor to
sacrificed lunch hours and evenings to sort through newspaper
articles and read morning and evening editions of the
Courier-Post from the past. His Web site has listings for World
War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War and
Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
gave up football for two years," said Cohen. "But it's
all paid for by these men who paid the ultimate sacrifice."
site has received attention from veterans and family members all
over the country.
received hundreds of letters and phone calls," Cohen said.
Sandell, 69, of Haddon Heights is a Vietnam War veteran involved
with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1958 and is a graduate of
Camden Catholic High School. Sandell has been creating
spreadsheets of Camden County veterans killed in action to
include their graduating high schools. Each name is linked to
Cohen's Web site.
wanted to find out who all the people from Camden Catholic
were," Sandell said. "Then it expanded to try to track
down what high school the different people went to and encourage
them or spur memorials to all those KIAs at the different high
Phil had done all the work well ahead of me," he added.
"(The Web site) is fabulous. He's done a tremendous amount
said one of the most important lessons he's learned from his
research is that "everybody went (to war)." There was
no discrimination by race, ethnicity or affluence.
is a real leader in our veterans' community dedicated to
preserving the veterans that passed before us," said Norman
Sooy, director of Camden County Veterans Affairs. "This is
a great history log on our veterans that once came from Camden
County. I was always hoping someone would document our monuments
and veterans on the monuments, and that's what Phil has
said he will continue to do research and update the site. He is
currently working on Vietnam veterans and those killed in the
war on terrorism. He also accepts anything family members can
provide such as photos, information and newspaper clippings.
very important to preserve history," Cohen said. "We
are the creation of our memories. If we don't learn from
history, we are doomed to repeat it and there's a great deal of
Kristy Davies at (856) 486-2917 or firstname.lastname@example.org