Perry County Memorial Wall
Posted on behalf of my daughter, Laura Steele:
I am a 17 year old, 12th grade, Ambassador Girl Scout in Perry County, PA. I decided as a final “project”, to design a memorial wall that would honor the military men & women of Perry County, who have been killed in action, since WWI. I strongly believe that they need to be remembered by everyone, because whether or not they agreed with everything our country has said or done, they were willing to stand, fight and ultimately gave their lives for our country. The memorial wall will recognize their sacrifice, honor their families, and give those who pass by the wall, a chance to think about what the freedoms we often take for granted, sadly costs.
Everyone that I have spoken to about this project seems to want to know why or how I decided to do this project, so I’ll tell you a little about where this idea came from and why I think it’s important for Perry County.
I guess you could say I was raised around the military. When I was 5 years old, my oldest brother, Mark Steele, enlisted in the Marine Corp. The following year, my family attended Lance Corporal Jason Frye’s funeral. He was a Marine just like my brother. I couldn’t even imagine losing my brother or what losing a sibling, or spouse or child would be like. Two years later, my second oldest brother, Nick Steele, enlisted in the Army. Both of my brother’s deployed throughout their years in the military to war zones in Iraq & Afghanistan…both lost good friends to snipers, IED’s, etc…people I had often seen pictures of and heard stories about. They were real people, important to their families, friends & community, just like my brothers are important to me.
Thru the last 12 years I've done soldier care package drives to support whole deployed units and cookie drives during Girl Scout cookie season. However, in my heart, there always seemed to be something that said, I wish I could do more.
This past Memorial Day, like most Memorial Days, everyone around me was talking about their plans for the long weekend…about picnics and family get togethers. I’m the Color-Guard Captain at Newport High School, and the band was excited to participate in the Memorial Day parade. I couldn’t help to think about what Memorial Day is really about, and about the men & women that it commemorates. Over Memorial Day weekend I started thinking about designing some sort of memorial.
As time went on and summer arrived, I was still rolling ideas around in my head about what kind of memorial that I could do. I made a lot of sketches and the internet gave me lots of ideas which I combined. I was excited, but let’s face it…a memorial like I want to do is a huge project. Bigger than anything that I’ve ever done. At the same time, scaling down the project or the design I had come up with, somehow didn’t seem to honor these men, women and families like I wanted to either. After talking to my family, and different people in my community, I realized that the memorial wall project is something everyone can get behind, and that we can make the memorial wall a reality together.
After talking with a bunch of supporters and considering the different locations offered, I decided that the best possible location for the Memorial Wall was in Marysville, PA. The Marysville Borough generously donated a corner lot, along the heavily travelled RT 11/15 (across from Blue Mountain Outfitters). 15,000 cars will go by the Memorial Wall daily.
The anticipated cost for this project is approximately $80,000 (polished black granite wall with etched white lettering, life sized bronze saluting soldier & battlefield cross, flag poles & landscaping).
We need everyone's help to raise all of the money needed for this project. Whether you're from Perry County or not, remember...these men & women didn't just fight for Perry County, they fought for the USA, and deserve to be commemorated.
The dedication of the memorial wall will take place right after the Veteran's Day parade in Marysville 2018.
On December 26th we had our groundbreaking. The electric pole was installed and the holes for the flag poles were dug/collars were installed. The conduit line from the electric pole to the lighting for the flag poles was laid and the fixtures were put into place. Within the next few weeks the flag poles will be installed.
The bronze saluting soldier & battlefield cross are being carved and will soon under-go bronzing.
The corner lot in Marysville has been marked off by the engineer and the solar powered flagpoles will soon be installed!