Eagle Scout creates tribute to veterans at Jefferson Memorial
As a member of Boy Scouts of America, Luke Lipowcan knows the importance of service.
When it came time to devise his Eagle Scout project, Lipowcan opted to honor those who dedicated their own lives to serving their country with a veterans monument installed at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Pleasant Hills.
“I’ve always been a big supporter of the military,” said Lipowcan, 17, of Carrick. “I’ve always looked up to veterans and those who served and are serving now.”
The granite monument stands in the veterans section of the cemetery’s Oak Knoll Garden and was dedicated to local servicemen and women during a November ceremony.
Lipowcan, a Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School student, began planning for the project last January. Working with Jefferson Memorial President Harry Neel, he designed a monument bearing the seals of all five service branches and inscribed with a line from Theodore O’Hara’s poem “Bivouac of the Dead.”
“When Luke called for help with his Eagle Scout project, we were honored to help him make it an amazing piece that all would be proud of,” Neel said in a statement. “This is a special piece.”
Lipowcan raised a little more than $4,000 for the monument, fundraising $3,600 and making up the difference out of pocket with money he saved from his summer job as a lifeguard. He led his fellow scouts in a cleanup of the cemetery’s veteran section for the project as well.
A member of Boy Scout Troop 296 of Brentwood, Lipowcan joined the Boy Scouts at the encouragement of his father when he was 12. He plays both the trumpet and French horn and, as his troop’s bugler, played “Taps” during the monument’s dedication.
“A lot of volunteers showed up for the project,” Lipowcan said. “We had a lot of work done, and I’m very happy that it’s finally complete.”
Lipowcan is applying to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he plans on studying aerospace engineering. If accepted, he would go on to serve in the same branch his grandfather Frank Lipowcan – who is buried in the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery – served in during World War II.
Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.