Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Program to Honor Veterans Jefferson Memorial Cemetery Will Host

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Program to Honor Veterans Jefferson Memorial Cemetery Will Host

Article excerpt

With more than 85,000 people buried or entombed there, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery is getting ready for its biggest one-day influx of visitors on Memorial Day, a national day of remembrance.

On Monday, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Funeral Home and Crematory, 401 Curry Hollow Road, will hold its annual observance in the cemetery's veterans section.

At 10:30 a.m., the public will gather at the main mausoleum and walk to the veterans section accompanied by Boy and Cub scouts and members of American Legion Post 712.

At 11 a.m., the event begins, featuring an invocation, guest speakers, choir and band performances, and the traditional placing of the wreath and 21-gun salute by the American Legion.

Throughout the day, American flags will be available outside the administration building for families to post at loved ones' graves.

"For me, Memorial Day has really always meant tradition, coupled with deep respect of country and humanity," Dagny Neel Fitzpatrick said.

She is vice president of the memorial park, which is primarily owned by the Neel family of Pleasant Hills.

Her late great-grandfather, Harry C. Neel, founded the nonsectarian cemetery in 1929 on 100 acres of farmland as Jefferson Memorial Park. While the land was located in the community of Jefferson, the main reason for the name was that Neel greatly admired American founding father Thomas Jefferson.

Today, Jefferson Memorial Park consists of 340 acres, with half of that developed and the other half available for future development.

The pastoral setting of hills, tree groves and gently curved roadways spans Jefferson Hills and Pleasant Hills and encompasses themed burial gardens and mausoleums accentuated with signature religious and historical artworks and monuments, among other features.

Besides a cemetery, funeral home and crematory, Jefferson Memorial Park's on-site operations include a concrete vault manufacturing plant; L&M Lawncare; and leaf composting operation. …

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