Veterans want to place soldier statue in front of courthouse
Westmoreland County's 20-ton monument to war veterans could be stationed in front of the courthouse by Memorial Day.
The 6-foot statue of a Civil War Union soldier is bivouacking in the courthouse's interior lobby this winter as officials try to raise money to pay for its permanent move to the front outer corner of the Main Street building in Greensburg.
The statue was placed in storage in July, when it was removed from the front of the nearby Westmoreland Museum of American Art as part of a $30 million renovation project there.
The monument was moved to courthouse over the weekend.
“I think it is important we recognize our veterans and the efforts of the group that originally erected the statue,” said Matt Zamosky, director of the county Office of Veterans Affairs.
Zamosky said about $30,000 still needs to be raised.
The statue originally was erected in 1925 by the Westmoreland County Soldier and Sailor Veterans Association and placed in front of what was once Greensburg City Hall.
That property later became the museum site, where the statue remained for decades.
Zamosky said it is important to preserve the statue. “Moving it to the courthouse is an ideal solution,” he said.
A memorial plaque to the county's fallen World War I soldiers is displayed at the front entrance of the courthouse, which was dedicated in 1908.
The Union soldier sat atop a 20-foot pedestal for 88 years less than a mile away. For now, he sits above a 3-inch wooden pallet in the middle of a main corridor that leads to the old courthouse building as veterans groups attempt to raise money to repair, clean and re-erect the statue and pedestal. About $70,000 has been raised.
Donations have been collected since last summer, including a $28,000 anonymous contribution and $820 from American Legion Post 982 in Unity.
County engineer Gary Vautard said laborers spent time over the summer clearing space for the 20-ton statue and pedestal. Vautard said plans call for the statue to be moved to its new station by Memorial Day.
“We want him to get a little exposure,” Vautard said of the statue's present post.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Salem teen surprised with Westmoreland Fair Queen win
- 9 displaced by fire in Grapeville
- North Huntingdon man pleads guilty in road rage case
- Greater Latrobe hires teachers to prepare for school start
- Radiation measuring device triggered by load at Yukon facility
- Man admits preying on Lower Burrell neighbor, taking more than $100K in money, goods
- Hours to be reduced at Ruffsdale post office
- Audit: Westmoreland records were at risk in transfer to computer system