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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 30, 2015 02:26 PM
From: Representative Mark M. Gillen
To: All House members
Subject: Cosporship - Preservation of Soldiers' Grove
In the very near future, I plan on introducing legislation to further preserve Soldiers’ Grove located across the street from the Capitol Complex.

On June 21, 2011, the House adopted HR 331. This resolution authorized and established a select committee to study the future use of the Medal of Honor Memorial located at Soldiers’ Grove. The select committee was also required to issue a report on its recommendations. This report was issued in November 2012.

The Grove was designed by artists Stacy Levy and Winifred Lutz, which was completed and dedicated in November 1992. The artists’ theme for the Grove is “Tides of War”. As its name suggests, the cardinal design element was twelve concrete arcs emulating waves rippling towards a “Shore of Peace”; each arc represents a conflict in which Pennsylvanians have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The arcs vary in width, subject to the length of the war they memorialize with every 21” inch span showcasing a year. Imbedded in each arc are granite slabs identifying Medal of Honor recipients and the dates and locations of their acts of heroism. Between each arc are grassy areas indicating times of peace. The designers’ intent was the creation of a narrative experience placing the individual hero in the sweep of history. The arcs were designed to give all visitors the perspective of history within the memorial.

The problem is that the Commonwealth is simply running out of space to continue the current scheme and measurement in time; therefore, the select committee was tasked with developing recommendations on designs for the Medal of Honor layout within the memorial in order to accommodate any and all future Medal of Honor recipients. The Commonwealth has until 2016 when the space will no longer be available under the current design.

Subsequent to the release of the report in 2012, the PA War Veterans Council voted to support the recommendation in the report relating to the “Pillars of Time” concept. My proposal is reflective of this recommendation. The concept would involve erecting distinct pillars for future conflicts; the pillars could be extended vertically, pending height restrictions, to continue the theme of “passage of time”. Additionally, the size and scope of the memorial stones may be modified to complement the pillars, as well as prevent future space limitations. As a consequence, the visitor will travel through the “Tides of War” towards the “Shores of Peace” within the “Pillars of Time”.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB1484