PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The City-County Building now has a bronze plaque honoring soldiers from Allegheny County who were killed in action during the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. The plaque was unveiled at a ceremony Saturday morning.
Rep. Dom Costa says there is nothing in Allegheny County that shows the appreciation for soldiers who were killed in action during the wars in the Middle East. Now, the City-County Building main lobby features a memorial bronze honor roll plaque with the names of those soldiers.
“What’s nice about this is the unveiling of this plaque today will be something monumental,” Costa said. “Because every day when people walk by and look at that plaque, the names of those who gave that ultimate sacrifice will be there for them to remember, for them to say a silent prayer and thank them for that.”
Family members of the fallen soldiers were in attendance at the ceremony.
John Gilkey, the father of fallen marine Justin Schmalstieg, said he was working with former state senator Jim Ferlo to try to honor his son in some way. Ferlo proposed the idea of the memorial plaque for soldiers from the entire Allegheny County area.
“We thought this is something Justin would have wanted because he was that type of person … [it’s] about everybody, not just about himself,” Gilkey said.
Mayor Bill Peduto also spoke at the ceremony about veterans in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
“Now, we’ll be able to recognize, eternally, those that served in the Middle East wars in this building that was built together nearly 100 years ago as a testament to the strength of the people of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County,” he said.