Scout pays tribute

Jonathan Reinheardt stands beside the centerpiece monument in his memorial garden honoring local veterans. Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen

There were tears, hugs, and an abundance of gratitude as the area’s newest tribute to military veterans was unveiled Saturday on the front lawn of American Legion Post 116 in Avalon.

Although the North Boroughs has monuments, plaques and other tributes to veterans throughout the area, Eagle Scout candidate Jonathan Reinheardt wanted his project to be as inclusive as possible. He began a search last fall for veterans from the North Boroughs, those who had come home after their service, and those who fell on foreign battlefields. He received quite a response, and each name was engraved on the several plaques that now adorn the centerpiece of Jonathan’s memorial garden project.

The garden has transformed the front lawn of the Legion’s post on South Home Avenue in Avalon. In addition to the central monument, it includes five new flag poles that can be used to honor various branches and classifications of the military. There are landscaped areas, and granite benches for those who want to take a moment to reflect.

And with the passing of Northgate band director Jason Dilliott weighing heavy on the minds of many as Jonathan began his project, the garden also includes a special tribute and monument dedicated to “Mr. D.”

Last Saturday’s ceremony dedicating the memorial garden and honoring the veterans of the North Boroughs was followed by a luncheon at the Legion.