Springdale WWI memorial touted as one of the nation’s best
A few years ago, the Springdale Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1437 and American Legion Post 764 made it a priority to restore the borough’s World War I plaque at Veterans Memorial Field.
Now, the plaque has been recognized as one of 100 centennial memorials across the country by the World War One Centennial Commission’s 100 Cities/100 Memorials program.
The plaque joins some of the nation’s largest World War I memorials in being recognized. The two organizations will also receive grant money for restoring the plaque and ongoing maintenance.
The plaque first was installed in 1919 along Pittsburgh Street, but was moved to Veterans Memorial Field in 1960.
“When you think about it, its mind boggling because there’s Los Angeles Coliseum and there’s Soldier Field in Chicago and here’s Springdale Veterans Memorial Field,” said Pat Murray, quartermaster of Post 1437. “It’s really something.”
The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program is designed to raise community awareness of those who served, and provides a connection to the impact the war had on local towns.
The plaque has more than 100 names on it and honors the Springdale residents who fought in World War I.
Murray said World War I can be forgotten and they want to try and preserve the local history.
“We just wanted to bring attention to honor the people, the names that are on that plaque,” Murray said. “When you’re down there, just take a look and stop by.”
Preston Gardner Jr., commander of the Springdale American Legion, said it was an honor to read the names of the veterans when the plaque was rededicated last year — especially George Uhlinger, who was a notable Springdale resident and donated money for the borough’s football field.
“This has been here all the years and how many people have passed by it and really didn’t realize?” he said. “Veterans Field — well, these are veterans.”
The Springdale VFW presented borough council with a commendation during June’s council meeting for giving the posts permission to restore the plaque.
Springdale Council President James Zurisko thanked the VFW for pursuing the project.
Murray said being selected as one of the 100 memorials is something positive for the whole community.
“It brings a spotlight to the plaque itself, to Springdale and to the VFW,” he said.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or on Twitter @emilybalser.