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Veterans Tribute dedicated

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published August 14, 2018

 The tribute was built with with donated funds, materials and construction.

The tribute was built with with donated funds, materials and construction.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Members of the U.S. Air Force honor  guard raise the flag July 31 for the Veterans  Tribute of Oakland Township dedication  ceremony on Silverbell Road.

Members of the U.S. Air Force honor guard raise the flag July 31 for the Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township dedication ceremony on Silverbell Road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Dark skies and a downpour did not dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds who attended the Veterans Tribute of Oakland County dedication July 31 on Adams Road, south of Silverbell Road.  

“Thank you all for coming out tonight and braving the weather,” said Tim Reese, one of three Oakland Township residents who headed the tribute plan.

The recently completed tribute features clear glass-etched markers honoring all branches of the military rising skyward and encircling the American flag, and it is lighted at night.

“It is absolutely beautiful,” tribute volunteer David Sokol said.

Tribute designers aimed to focus on the valor, honor, patriotism and nobility of those who have served or are serving the U.S. — giving a positive and uplifting message with a sense of hope. Reese said the design also includes a special tribute to veterans who have been disabled as a result of their service.

The $2.2 million tribute was built with donated funds, materials and construction over its two-year project schedule.

“The support from the community has been incredible,” tribute volunteer Chris Rapley said. “We have almost 1,000 people here today. We have busloads of disabled veterans. They wanted to be here, to stand here in the rain.”

On land donated by the Moceri family, Steven McKay served as architect for the tribute’s inspirational design, and Donald Westphal filled in as the landscape architect. Matt Schwantiz and Nancy Standish oversaw site design and planning for the tribute.

Reese said that, originally, the Veterans Tribute was the vision of two township residents, Dominic Moceri and former Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser.  

“This is a wonderful addition to the township as a tribute to those who serve and have served our country so valiantly,” Gonser said previously.

Although phase one of the project is complete, phase two aims to fund upkeep and repairs, as well as additions that include an entrance marker, additional landscaping, a pedestrian bridge over Gallagher Creek and a founding documents exhibit.

All are invited to honor a veteran by purchasing a laser-engraved brick paver as a permanent part of the tribute for a donation of $150 for a 4-by-8-inch brick or $300 for an 8-by-8-inch brick.

Pavers will be installed on the site at regular intervals. For more information, visit VTOTMI.org.

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