Veterans, politicians, students and community members poured into the site of the new Upper St. Clair Veterans Park on Friday for a dedication ceremony.
So many people attended the event, drivers had to use the and parking lots.
"You honor us by being here. You honor yourself by being here. I thank you," said T.J. McGarvey, Marine Corps veteran and president of the USC Veterans Park Board of Directors.
"This park will stand as a lasting reminder of honor and respect," said Lanny Frattare, master of ceremonies.
After the ceremony and ribbon cutting, park donors and honorary participants unveiled the monuments honoring the Air Force; Army; Coast Guard; Marines; Merchant Marines; National Guard; and Navy.
"I think my father would be very, very honored," Rick Murray said.
The Murray family (Rosemary Murray; Debi and Don McCall; Rick and Cheryl Murray; Dave Murray; Jim and Chris Murray; John and Sandy Murray; and Tom and Tammy Murray) donated money toward the Air Force plaza at the Veterans Park. They did so in part for their father, Richard, who was a 2nd Lieutenant pilot in the Army Air Corps. He was there for in July, but died on Oct. 7, before the dedication ceremony. Visitors can now see his image etched in the Air Force monument.
"To us it's not just appreciation to our father, but to all the vetarans," Rick said. "And appreciation for the community. All six of us kids went to school here, moved back here after college and live here now."
The image of Staff Sgt. Patrick Kutschbach can be seen the Army monument. Staff Sgt. Kutschbach was killed during battle in Afghanistan in 2007 and his father, Dave Kutschbach, is the superintendent of projects for the Upper St. Clair Public Works department. McGarvey said members of Staff Sgt. Kutschbach's special forces group traveled from Colorado to attend Friday's ceremony.
The USC Veterans Park is still in need of money donations.
"The project's done, but the work's not," McGarvey said.
Click here to learn more about how you can donate.
Below is a list of some of the USC Veterans Park donors.
Dedication Panel Sponsors
Thomas Family and PNC Financial Services Group
Air Force Plaza Sponsor
Army Plaza Sponsor
Coast Guard Plaza Sponsor
Marine Plaza Sponsor
Merchant Mariners Plaza Sponsor
Navy Plaza Sponsor
American Flag Flagpole Sponsor
Bethel-St. Clair Rotary
Pennsylvania State Flag Flagpole Sponsor
Upper St. Clair Community Foundation
Township of Upper St. Clair Flag Flagpole Sponsor
POW/MIA Flag Flagpole Sponsor
The Upper St. Clair Marching Band performed before the ceremony. The Chanteclair Choir sang the national anthem. Elementary students wrote thank you letters to the veterans in attendance.
Recognized guests in attendance included U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy; Matt Campion, chief of staff to PA Sen. John Pippy; PA Rep. John Maher; Robert Johnson, deputy director of Gov. Tom Corbett's southwest office; PA Auditor General Jack Wagner; Allegheny County Executive Elect Rich Fitzgerald; County Councilman Vince Gastgeb; ; Township Manager Matt Serakowski; Superintendent Patrick O'Toole; President of the USC Board of Commissioners Bob Orchowski; President of the Board of School Directors Harry Kunselman; Chief Ron Pardini; and Deputy Chief of the Drew Gerlach.
The USC Veterans Park Board of Directors include T.J. McGarvey; Bill Babcock; Jim Bolas; Ched Mertz; Barbara Bolas; Mark Christie; Jeff Conn; Russell Del Re; Scott Hawkins; Harry Kunselman; Michael Mascaro; Karen McElhinny; Vicki McKenna; Rachel Mertz; Tracey Perles; John Swiatek; and Dick Thomas.