Pittsburgh, December 6, 2013 – Calling the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II monument a fitting tribute to World War II veterans and Pittsburgh’s historic role in that war, state Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) took part in today’s dedication ceremony at the North Shore Riverfront Park.

“This memorial conveys our appreciation, respect and devotion,” Fontana said. “I hope it stands as a solemn reminder of what it truly takes to be an American, and how precious our freedoms are.”

Fontana added that it was most appropriate that the dedication ceremony to be held as America prepares for tomorrow’s Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremonies.

[frame align=”right”]WWII_MonumentDed[/frame]“Pearl harbor was one of our darkest hours, a time when fear and uncertainty were rampant,” Fontana said. “But it also served as this nation’s rallying cry, an event that bonded and cemented our resolve, stoking determination, dedication and loyalty to our country and what it stands for.”

Fontana helped obtain $2.085 million in state funds to help build the $4.1 million monument. The dollars were gleaned from Allegheny County’s share of gaming revenues through the Community Infrastructure & Tourism Fund (CITF) and the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

While praising those who helped plan for, design and fund the monument, Fontana urged citizens to also keep today’s soldiers, sailors and airmen in their thoughts and prayers. The Brookline lawmaker has sponsored legislation that would help veterans transition back to civilian life. The 16-bill package would invest $61.1 million to help veterans and their families obtain good jobs, education, training, housing, financial aid and counseling services.

“Pittsburgh has always had an abiding respect and love for those who answered the call of duty,” Fontana said at the ceremony. “This beautiful monument honors their sacrifice in a meaningful and symbolic way.

“Let’s also resolve to honor their sacrifice and loyalty with the kind of tangible support they can rely on when they return home.”

Pennsylvania is home to 995,000 of the nation’s 22 million veterans. Fontana noted that in the past 12 years since our soldiers were first deployed to the Middle East, more than 2.6 million American veterans have returned home.###


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