Summit Hill Legion post refurbishes war monument
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Kevin O'Donnel, commander of the Summit Hill American Legion Post 316, left; and Jim Bennek, past commander of the post, right; thank Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek, center; for his help with securing a $10,000 grant to refurbish the World War II monument, seen behind the men. Missing from photo is former Speaker of the House Keith McCall, who was a driving force in securing the grant for the project.
The Davis-Lawton-Yurko-Breslin-Bevich American Legion Post 316 of Summit Hill is making sure the record of service of its World War II veterans will be preserved for future generations.
As part of the reconditioning of the monument at the entrance to the building, the group recently reinstalled three bronze panels, which stand over six feet tall and includes the names of many of the men who served in the war from the area. The monument was erected in the 1950s as a reminder that this country is free because of brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifices in wartime.
The project to restore the monument began a few years ago, when the legion officers asked for financial help to refurbish the monument, which had been deteriorating due to weather. The group wrote letters to former Speaker of the House Keith McCall and Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek, both Summit Hill natives, to help in securing a grant for the project.
The letter stated, "These monuments are extremely important to not only the town, but also to those who have lost family or friends in these wars. During Memorial Day, people will come from all over and even overseas just to be able to come and see and touch a loved one's name. We compare our monument to the historical monuments in Washington D.C., while they might not be as large or as well known, they are as equally important to patrons who come to find and pay respects to family or friends who gave their lives for our country unselfishly."
McCall and O'Gurek took up the charge and secured a grant in the amount of $10,000, which was used to remove the plaques, recondition them and reinstall them on the granite base outside the legion.
Kevin O'Donnell, commander of the post, said the legion appreciates all the McCall and O'Gurek did for the organization.
"We at the Summit Hill Legion greatly appreciate the time and effort Keith and Bill put into this proposal," the board of governors of the Summit Hill American Legion wrote in a prepared statement. "Keith will always be revered as an outstanding man who helped our local communities to receive a great gift. This monument means a lot to our community and to those who have lost a loved one in war.
"The American Legion, Auxiliary, and SALs would again like to thank Keith and Bill for their patriotism towards the veterans and the town of Summit Hill."