PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — World War II veterans from Pittsburgh are finally getting their due with a memorial dedicated to them on the North Shore.
However, organizers still need a lot of help to honor the men and women of America’s Greatest Generation.
In 1946, the veterans of World War II came home. The men and women of the “Greatest Generation” went to work and raised their families asking nothing in return for their sacrifices.
But now there is something we can do for our parents and grandparents – a memorial to honor the 4,000 from Allegheny County who died in that war. It’s something veterans have been hoping to see rise on the North Shore for 10 years.
“Here we are coming by and we World War II fellas are on borrowed time.”
Those are the words of Family Court Judge John Brosky who died last year. A captain in the Army Air Corps, he’d worked hard on the memorial project.
But he, like so many others, will never see it.
“It’s very urgent. Obviously, we’re losing a lot of World War II veterans every day,” said John Vento, who was Private First Class John Vento, a machine gunner with the 478th Anti-Aircraft from 1943 to 1946.
The memorial features two semi-circular walls reflecting the European and the Pacific Fronts.
The state committed $2 million to the project, but an additional nearly $2 million has had to be raised locally. Right now, they are still about $250,000 short to build, and another $600,000 for the Memorial’s maintenance.
“It’s something we’ll be very proud of and people coming into Pittsburgh will be very proud to see it,” said Vento.
Handsome, fundraising calendars, featuring local World War II veterans have been sold for the past three years. The 2012 edition will be available in time for this Christmas too.
Organizers are planning a major push beginning this Veterans Day leading up to ground breaking ceremonies on Dec. 7 – the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
“I’m fortunate enough that I’m still here and want to see this project,” says Vento.
The WWII Memorial will be a place where present and future generations can come and remember. If you want to help make it happen buy one of the calendars for $12 or send a donation.
The World War II calendars will be available in local bookstores soon.