Construction to begin on Veterans Tribute

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published June 7, 2017


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Construction on the township’s Veterans Tribute, located on the west side of Adams Road, south of Silver Bell Road, will begin this summer.  

“Progress on all fronts is going very well,” Oakland Township Supervisor Mike Bailey said May 23. The project is slated to be completed in 2018. The tribute will be built on donated land and paid for with private funds.

The total cost of the tribute — including site preparation, construction, and an endowment to handle annual maintenance and repair — is estimated at $2.5 million. To date, donations for land, services and materials — including gift donations, brick paver orders and sponsorships for specific elements — total $1.9 million. 

“The current status is horizontal construction this summer,” Bailey said. “They are working with two or three key prospective donors who may put them over the top for fundraising goals, in which case it could complete construction in 2017. They are doing quite well.”

Last year, the Oakland Township Board of Trustees approved lease terms for the tribute. Terms of the 99-year lease call for rent of $1 per year. Land for the Veterans Tribute was deeded to Oakland Township by Moceri Investments, included in the terms of a consent judgment allowing a senior housing development on Dutton Road, at Adams Road, to move forward.

Tribute construction will consist of three phases, beginning with clearing and grading the land, then creating an access road and parking lot, and finally, constructing the tribute and holding a dedication ceremony.

Tim Reese, David Sokol, Dennis DaSilva and Terry Gonser comprise the nonprofit organization Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township and have assembled a design team that includes designer David Bruehand and local architect Stephen McKay.

The Veterans Tribute will feature clear, etched glass markers rising skyward and encircling the American flag, and it will be lit at night.    

“We wanted a tribute, not a memorial,” former Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser said when the project was approved last year. “Glass panels and lighting, so it will glow at night to honor all veterans — past, present and future.”

Two upcoming tribute fundraising events, including a fall pheasant shoot, are planned for this year. For more information about the fundraising events and how to donate to the tribute, visit