SST Veterans Memorial Tour
This is a self-guided tour of the Veterans Memorial in Silver Spring Township’s Willow Mill Park (80 Willow Mill Park, Mechanicsburg, PA 18050), current as of 8 Nov 2015
The idea for a monument in SST started in Nov 2007 when VMC was organized by the BOS
- April 2009 competitive bd, after 18 months polling, organizing, setting criterion
-- 28 designs received from Silver Spring to Sao Paulo Brazil
-- 5 from PA, 8 from NY, 2 IL, 2 MI, and GA, NM, KS, MD, NV and others
- July 2011 groundbreaking ceremony and construction ended on 9 Nov 2011
-- dedicated on Veterans Day, 11 November 2011
Design budget was for $150,000, but eventually cost nearly $300,000
- All raised with only private and corporate donations, and we are still paying off.
- Designer: Matt Leone, of Linn Architects in Media, PA. One of his first commissions.
- Landscaper: Jane Kiehl, the English Garden Center in Carlisle, PA
- General Contractor: Rodney & Stacy Pottenger, RJ Potteinger Const, New Kingstown
Why do all of this? VMC:
- Vision: The Veterans Memorial will honor and recognize military veterans and inspire all to service beyond self.
- Mission: The Veterans Memorial Committee (VMC) of Silver Spring Township (SST), PA, with support of the Board of Supervisors and the community, has established a military veterans memorial, which was dedicated on November 11, 2011. The memorial will honor sacrifice and inspire selfless service for the enhancement of the whole community. We have accomplished this by planning, building the memorial, and arranging a long range plan for its use and preservation.
Slab: 20’ by 50’ poured concrete over steel reinforcing bar (re-bar) laid on packed gravel
- 6” poured (23 cubic yards) over 350 linear feet #4 rebar for reinforcement
- Orientation: memorial is oriented southwest (entrance) to northeast
- Elevation: site elevation is 402 feet above sea level
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible by design
- Walkway curved from entrance to access road below
-- Built in June 2013 to make access easier for walking impaired
-- General Contractor Bender and Sons, designed by Clarence Bouchat
-- Material, services and money $4000 Mech Area Foundation
--- Hempt Bros donated #57 stone, cost: $425, and grading services
--- Pennsy Supply donated the concrete
-- 6’ wide, centerline 161’, climbs 11’ to 402’ above sea level (14:1 grade)
-- 4” deep concrete over 4” crushed stone, 13.8 cubic yards concrete
Order of walls are based on “reach” of service with each inner wall more protective of the flag representing the homeland, and outer wall representing the more “expeditionary” manner of that service. As Matt Leone, the designer, said at the dedication ceremony the walls are aligned “in order of response of engagement.”
MOVE BEHIND AF WALL
Attractive aspect of the design was that the viewer must interact with it, by walking through it, thereby experiencing it, and being a part of it.
Both Air Force and Navy walls are hollow walls 8’x16’x15”deep
- constructed off site by Weskem Technologies in Silver Spring, craned into place
- Air Force – 400 sq feet brushed aluminum panels, signifying stealth and agility
- Navy – steel, signifying material strength and sleekness steel panels affixed to ribs
-- 450 square feet of brushed 3/8” to ½” stainless steel panels
-- 400 stainless steel rivets used for holding sheets to rib structure
Service Seals – “Each wall also maintains the seal of the designated branch of service too easily distinguish each wall for visitors.”
- bronze seals are 24” in diameter; Will add a second seal to back side.
Shelves – each wall has a built in “shelf” on each side. Occasionally the VMC will find a memento left there, so this memorial has become a place to remember veterans.
MOVE BEHIND MARINE WALL
Obstacle Course – while evaluating each design to pick a winner in our contest, the VMC nicknamed the designs for easy reference while discussing them. The winner was known as the Obstacle Course because of the way you have to negotiate through it.
- The Architect intended that the overlapping walls would symbolize the protection each Service gave to the homeland, represented by the flag and the reflecting pool.
Marine Wall – concrete, signifying a solid yet malleable nature, sleekness and resilience
- poured in a form on its side and then lifted into place because vertical pour too heavy
- 3500 pounds per square inch, 5 cubic yards of concrete
Army Wall – concrete masonry block, representing the Army’s rugged and orderly nature
Pieces missing from walls signify the losses, set-backs and defeats of each service, but “they all still stand and will continue to stand in defense of the United States of America.”
- Unity-“When viewed through one end of the memorial all layers unify as a force of one”
MOVE BEHIND ARMY WALL
Coast Guard Wall–ashlar stone, signifys the last wall of defense in protection of the homeland
Windows in walls are aligned so that each Airman, Sailor, Marine, Soldier, and Coast Guardsman are saluting in formation when you look at them from one end or the other.
- symbolizes “jointness” in which all of the services work together for the greater good
- Glass – 1” thick polycarbonate “gorilla” glass etched with a silhouette. Although strong and durable it and meant to resist shattering, it can still be scratched.
-- as appropriate for a Veterans Memorial, the glass is bullet proof
Lighting – 20 LED recessed lightening strips (4 per window) used to light windows at night.
- REMCO donated its services to install all electrical work, completed on 9 Nov 2011.
- Electrical conduit – 350 linear feet used in entire construction.
MOVE TO REFLECTION POOL
Flag Pole – 30’x6” aluminum pole in the center of the pool, with 5’x8’ flag
- 1 LED projector lights for lighting up the flag at night
Markers arranged in chronological order counterclockwise from Colonial Wars to the future
- Defensive Perimeter – 21 markers found in the reflection pool are arranged in a circle around the American flag each facing outwards. This forms a defensive perimeter which is one of the most basic forms of defense for ground forces, and those symbolically are protecting the American flag through the ages.
- They represent the most important campaigns and missions taken by the military
-- includes defense support of civil authorities
-- international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations
-- Blank marker represents future conflicts in which military may engage
- Markers – 12”x12” concrete pylons about 1’ high. Original design called for 10-15 but committee research set it at 21 to cover campaigns and missions, and as a 21- gun salute
- Field Cross – carved and donated by Brooks Abeln Vet day, 8 Nov 2015
-- rifle barrel down, boots, helmet and dog tags
-- Made of white pine and took him 8-10 hours to complete.
-- the carver called it “probably the most meaningful carving that I’ve ever done.” Displayed during ceremonies only
Choice of plants – landscaper Jane Kiehl stated: ”the plants chosen have visual interest from beginning of March through mid-November.
- Eastern Rosebud – river end on fence and park sides.
- Amelanchier ‘Service Berry’- river end on river side and park side
- *** tree dedicated 8 Nov 2015 in memory of MAJ Zachary R. Waity, USA, Iraq 1976-2014, Bronze Star, Airborne Ranger, located at ***
MOVE BETWEEN NAVY AND MARINE
- Ornamental pear along waist fence side
- Acer Maple ‘Red October Glory’ – middle river side
-Plants and small shrubs
- Witchhazel ‘Arnold’s Promise –tbd
- hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Oakleaf Hydrangea’ – tbd
- Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ - tbd
- Knockout Roses ‘pink’ – tbd
- Decidous Holly (ibex verticulata) ‘winter red’ – tbd
- Spirea ‘Lime Green Goldmound’ – tbd
- Caryopteris ‘Blue Miscellanous’ – tbd
- perennial flowers – the perennials on the fence side, which look to be irises were planted clandestinely, but are a welcome addition by some well wisher
MOVE TO ENTRANCE WAY
Bricks and plaques donated to honor and remember service members, and pay for memorial
-- 2350 blank gray bricks laid in 2011, by Veterans Day 2015:
--- 424 inscribed bricks and 55 plaques
Original Specifications by Request for Proposals and Architects design included other design elements that were postponed until more funds could be raised. These included:
- Silhouette statue of a bugler or sentinel to be placed ***, cost ***
- Service seals for back side of walls
- Plaques for Service members who died in service
- additional landscaping
Built to last - Matt Leon, architect: “This memorial was designed and constructed to last just as our military has and continues to stand.”
We hope you found this monument fulfills our mission of honoring sacrifice of veterans, inspiring you and others to service to the community and country.
Thank you all for joining us today. I hope that you found your tour interesting. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, or you can visit our booth here today, or our web site. Please tell your family and friends about what we are doing, and let us know if you’d also like to honor a veteran or active service member at our memorial.
For more information see the Memorial Description Guide on its web site