PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been a very long time coming.
After 13-long years, Pittsburgh’s World War II Memorial was dedicated this morning.
The World War II Memorial is uniquely Pittsburgh, made of steel and glass, products that dominate our landscape, but more than anything else it’s a storybook of the war to end all wars.
At the dedication early Friday morning, nearly 1,000 people paused to remember a generation’s service to our nation.
Ruthie D’Hert was one of the World War II Veterans on hand for the dedication of the memorial on the North Shore.
“When the Germans surrendered they sent us out to Seattle at Bainbridge Island and we were waiting to go to school there and the Japanese surrendered. They heard we were coming,” D’Hert says.
Ralph Morton, who served in Europe and the Pacific, says serving in World War II was only a matter of what needed to be done.
“I think we all did what we had to do. It wasn’t pleasant, but we did it and we are continuing to do it. We are running out of people, but we are trying,” Morton says.
Representative Tim Murphy attended the dedication and strongly feels that all of the men and women who served in World War II deserve this memorial.
“I don’t care whether they were peeling potatoes on KP (kitchen patrol) or they were on the front line, all of them deserve our honor. You know we don’t want it to be forgotten,” he says.
A significant amount of the money came from the efforts of State Senator Wayne Fontana.
“Somebody had to step up and get it moving. It was just trudging along and it was time for someone to stand up and make a pledge of some substantial money in order to kick it off the ground,” Fontana says.
Now, it is a visual reminder of our nation’s history.
All together the memorial is a $4,000,000 project.
At last count, there was still about $20,000 left to pay in terms of having the memorial completely paid for.