Muir Veterans Memorial Committee seeks funds for additional tribute

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MUIR - Remembering veterans who paid the "supreme sacrifice", one volunteer group plans to expand a local monument paying tribute to those veterans and is seeking funds for the project.

The Muir Veterans Memorial Committee, Inc. is collecting funds to improve the current monument located along Wiconisco Street across from the Muir Grace United Methodist Church. Crews are hoping to hold the unveiling on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, 2013, according to Gary L. Reibsane, committee chairman.

Volunteers have been planning for the expansion since February 2012, when letters were sent out to local community members, requesting donations. So far, the committee has raised $6,100, about half of the estimated cost to complete the expansion project.

The Muir Veterans Memorial Committee, Inc. became an incorporated organization on December 11, 2012 and is in the process of obtaining its charitable status, according to Reibsane. In addition to Reibsane, other officers of the group are Richard E. Kaufman, vice-chairman; Kim Jansen, secretary; and Victoria Miller, treasurer.

It was about 13 years ago when the initial monument was erected in Muir. That granite monument reads: "In honor and memory of all Muir veterans who proudly served their country". The additional tribute will be placed behind and above the first one.

To find names for the expansion, volunteers searched records at the Pottsville Library, spoke to local veterans and relatives of service members, and checked with organizers of the Tower City veterans' monument to compare notes.

"We feel pretty confident we have the correct people for the correct wars," said Reibsane.

The new monument will feature eight names of those killed in action, including one from World War I; four from World War II; and three from Korea. There weren't any Muir veterans killed in action in Vietnam, the committee found.

Todd Evans of Evans Memorials assisted with the initial monument and is also working on the newest addition. Space has been provided on the granite monument for additional names, in case someone may have been missed who was killed in action.

The concrete base has already been installed and the flagpole at the monument site has been moved further back to accommodate the expansion.

Features of the new tribute will include a nine-foot long granite piece across the top which will read "Supreme Sacrifice". Below it will be the three-by-five-foot granite memorial marker featuring the engraved names and wars. The area will also be landscaped once the monument is put into place.

Porter Township, which is the municipality where the current monument is erected, did contribute to the cause.   Much of the funds already generated came from veterans themselves, community leaders and anonymous donors.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the monument expansion may do so by sending a check or money order made out to: Muir Veterans Memorial Committee, Inc., 60 Beagle Rd., P.O. Box 59, Tower City, PA 17980. Donations can be made in honor of, or in memory of a loved one. With a $25 contribution or more, those names will be included in the program on the day of the dedication and unveiling.

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