Schools to dedicate a lesson about patriotism, sacrifice

War memorial in Bel Air will honor the fallen from Harford County

May 20, 2007|By Madison Park | Madison Park,Sun Reporter

A granite monument honoring former Harford County public school students who died in the country's wars will be dedicated at a ceremony Thursday.

During the 45-minute event, families of slain members of the military who attended county schools will unveil the monument, which sits outside the Harford County public schools administration building on Hickory Street in Bel Air. Last week, the 2-ton black granite piece was put in place outside the main entrance on the building's Courtland Street side.

The monument features engravings of the seals for the five branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. It also is engraved with gray block lettering that reads: "Dedicated to former Harford County public school students who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country."

The county's veterans commission and the school system worked together to create a design and bring the idea to reality. The monument cost $17,500, to be paid for through donations. About two-thirds of the money has been raised, said Edward T. Kreiner Sr., chairman of the Harford County Commission for Veterans Affairs.

"This was a labor of love, and now it's done," said Kreiner, a Navy veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

The monument is 12 feet long, 4 feet tall and 6 inches wide. It comprises three large slabs, with the middle piece slightly raised. While the face is sleek and reflective, the edges are rough and chiseled.

"We took different samples to [schools officials] and they wanted a Vietnam Memorial-type," said Stephen Hughes of Hughes Monuments in Bel Air, the firm that designed the memorial. "They wanted it to be solemn and also reflective."

The idea for the memorial originated in part in a request from the family of a former Harford student who died serving in the military to have a football field named after him. Schools officials realized that there aren't enough fields or buildings to be named for fallen soldiers and decided to build the memorial, said school system spokesman Don Morrison.

The ceremony is open to the public and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the front steps of the administration building.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.