Dedication of Mt. Pleasant digital veterans' memorial wall is Sunday
By A.J. Panian
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:11 p.m.
As a prelude to the observance of Memorial Day on Monday, Mt. Pleasant Borough will officially dedicate the digital veterans' memorial wall in a ceremony scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Park.
The event is free and open to the public.
“People should expect the usual ceremony that honors our vets in town — heartfelt and done with class,” said Jeff Landy, the borough's manager.
At more than eight feet tall and weighing 950 pounds, the dark, aluminum slab encasing the wall's 60-inch flat screen monitor and inner workings closely resembles the four granite tablets bearing the names of local soldiers, airmen and sailors located to the right of the standing Veterans Wall in the park.
The electronic wall was designed by ITS Enclosures located at Westmoreland County Technology Park I near Mt. Pleasant.
“ITS Enclosures took an early interest in the Mt. Pleasant Digital War Memorial because we wanted to give something back to our community,” said J.T. Spangler, the company's president. “The digital monolith design resembles that of other ITS ViewStation products used for outdoor digital signage but was custom engineered and fabricated to match the memorial.”
The ceremony will last 45 minutes.
The master of ceremonies will be borough Mayor Jerry Lucia.
During the 45-minute event, Lucia and several other borough officials and guests will discuss how Mt. Pleasant supports and honors its veterans and how the borough is on the leading edge of technology of honoring its veterans.
“I believe this is probably going to be one of the first such devices of its kind in the tri-state area, and Mt. Pleasant has taken the extra step to provide something that will be there for a long time,” Lucia said. “It will give us the opportunity to put more and more veterans' names on the wall with distinction.”
The keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. Gary R. Polsinelli of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is the keynote speaker.
Additional remarks will be made by borough Council President Joseph Bauer Jr.; state Rep. Deberah Kula, D-Westmoreland/Fayette; and Dave Wible, chief executive officer of Industry Weapon Inc. of Pittsburgh, the company whichcompleted the wall's software.
Three years ago, former borough Councilman Michael Tabita brought the idea for installing the device to council.
The borough's governmental body approved of the idea and soon after established a digital veterans' memorial wall committee. The committee then approached ITS Enclosures to help bring the idea to life.
The committee, chaired by borough Councilman Larry Tate, also includes Landy, Marie Dawson, Ed Mihalacki and Bob Rizzo — technology director of Mt. Pleasant Area School District.
With support from late U.S. Rep. John Murtha and funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the digital wall has become a reality.
“It's a nice, affordable way of doing honoring our veterans, and our children and our grandchildren will be around to see it. My hats off to the (digital veterans' memorial wall) committee,” Lucia said.
Submissions for the wall cost between $100 and $150. More information on the pricing options and submissions required can be found online at www.mtpleasantboro.com.
Memorial Day event schedules:
The following are details for area events upcoming in observance of Memorial Day on Monday:
A parade will be held in the borough at 10:30 a.m. followed by a ceremony at Veterans Park. Bob Biller, a military veteran of World War II, will serve as the parade's honorary marshal.
The program's master of ceremonies will be Gene Calabrase, a member of the executive committee of the James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 in the borough.
The program will also include:
• Placing of wreaths — Ladies Auxiliaries of the James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 and the Mt. Pleasant Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3368;
• National anthem — Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band;
• Remarks — Mayor Jerry Lucia;
• Principal speaker — Sgt. First Class Timothy J. Snyder, 110th Infantry Active Guard/Reserve, U.S. Army veteran;
• Salute — Firing Squad, James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 & Mt. Pleasant VFW Post 3368 with Bill Lozier commanding;
• Taps and Echo — Trumpeter, Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band.
A program will be held at 9:15 a.m. at the Westmoreland Homesteads Memorial in Norvelt.
The program's master of ceremonies will be Norvelt District Judge Roger F. Eckels. The program will also include:
• Invocation — The Rev. David Greer, pastor of Norvelt Union Church;
• Pledge of Allegiance — Boy Scout Troop 472 and Girl Scout Troop 22062;
• National anthem — Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band;
• Guest speaker — John W. Peck, Westmoreland County district attorney;
• Memorial ceremony for Westmoreland Homesteads Volunteer Fire Department's deceased firemen — Mike Grec;
• Placing of the wreath — Donald Hudec;
• Benediction — The Rev. David Greer;
• Salute — AMVETS Post 94;
• Taps and Echo - MPAHS Band.
A service in Hecla will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Hecla Honor Roll.
AMVETS Post 94 of United will provide honor guard, firing squad and play taps for those who have served.
Wreaths will be placed by AMVETS Post 94, Slovak Sportsmen's Club of Hecla, Veterans of Hecla Memorial Fund and the Hecla Volunteer Fire Department.
Services will then move inside the Shirley Porterfield Memorial Hall and continue with the invocation by Sister Georgia Litzen, S.C. Doran Hall, Greensburg.
The national anthem will be led by Larry Ahlborn, pianist.
Jay Porterfield, the service's master of ceremonies, will introduce the speaker for the service's keynote speaker — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Auckerman.
For the conclusion, the folding and presentation of the American flag will take place.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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