memorial nears completion

The countdown to the Sunday, May 27, dedication of Mt. Lebanon’s Veterans Memorial has begun.  The Pennsylvania sandstone wall is complete; the huge boulders and the flagpole are in place, and the marble panels are being installed on the obelisk. The rectangular marble insets in the wall and the grass  that will be lighted at night are expected to be the most dramatic feature of the memorial; electricians were there today programming the permanent lighting and putting a”Ta Da” control, as architect Peter Kreuthmeier calls it,  in place for the inaugural light-up at the end of the dedication.

It seems almost too good to be true—and maybe it is—but the weather forecast for the 27th is perfect (and that’s a good thing, because there is no viable Plan B for the dedication.)  The dedication, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the memorial on Morgan Drive in Mt. Lebanon Park, will last about an hour.  Everyone is invited to celebrate the happy conclusion of  a two-year effort to permanently honor the men and women veterans who served our county in times of war and peace.

A committee chaired by Wallace Workmaster selected the site and the design; a fund-raising committee chaired by Dan Gigler and Rocky Bleier raised more than $468,000 to build the memorial. Major donors, including Duquesne Light ($260,000) and Range Resources ($10,000) are recognized along with everyone who gave at least $1000 on etched glass panels that flank the memorial.  The bulk of the funding, however, came in smaller donations, including $10,000 raised dollar by dollar by Mt. Lebanon’s elementary, middle and high school students.

The ceremony will be filled with music, including a military medley played by Carnegie Mellon’s Skibo Brass,and several songs by the Patriot Chanters, a 24 member subgroup of the South Hills Chorale led by director emeritus Hank Monsch. Master of Ceremonies is KDKA’s Jon Delano; District Judge Blaise Larotonda will deliver the invocation and benediction, and Rocky Bleier will be the keynote speaker.  An honor guard from the Marine Corps League will raise the colors; Mt. Lebanon’s “Bullet Bob” Daley, a World War II veteran will sing “the Star Spangled Banner,” and Ron LoVerde of Uptown Rhythm and Brass will play “Taps.”

Parking could be challenging, as the tennis center and ice rink will be open (although baseball will have concluded).  There will be a drop-off spot on Cedar Boulevard at the park’s entrance and people who are unable to walk that far may be dropped off directly at the memorial.  Parking will be available at the Rec Center, the Commissioner’s Lot, the high school lot and the lots on Cedar Boulevard next to the fields.

About 150 people will be able to sit.  Thanks in advance to younger people for  either standing  or bringing  blankets and sitting on the grass, freeing up the seats for veterans and older people in attendance.

So please spread the word, and join Mt Lebanon Municipality for this historic event.  Questions? Contact the public information office, 412-343-3400 or