Prospect Hill to activate digital memorial, update flags
Nov 09, 2012 (The York Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A digital Fallen Heroes Memorial at Prospect Hill Cemetery will be activated for the public Saturday.
"It's really unique," said Jack Sommer, the cemetery's managing partner. "We have the ability to show the photos of every U.S. service person who (gave) their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The recently-installed digital Fallen Heroes Memorial will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Saturday at the cemetery, 700 N. George St. in North York.
The 10-foot-by-12 foot, black-granite monument features a kiosk that shows images -- on a rotating basis -- of soldiers who died. The kiosk includes information about the soldiers' births, deaths, hometowns and places of service.
Saturday's event includes a flag and banner updating ceremony recognizing U.S. soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. The cemetery will add 74 new miniature American flags, bringing the flag memorial up to 2,145 in total.
Two of the 74 flags honor soldiers from Pennsylvania. Thus, another two flags will be added to a cemetery section honoring the memories of Pennsylvania soldiers. That section will then have 291 flags.
A banner for Army Private 1st Class Cameron J. Stambaugh, who died July 8 in Afghanistan, also will be unveiled. This will be the 22nd banner for the cemetery's Fallen Heroes banner display.
After Saturday's ceremony, the public will be invited to explore the new kiosk memorial that features family-submitted photos showing the soldiers growing up, having fun times with loved ones, or doing their favorite activities.
"This memorial gives families an opportunity to tell the world about the person they sacrificed," Sommer said.
The kiosk's 46-inch hi-brite LCD touch-screen monitor will face North George Street, and the public will be able to look up specific soldiers, he said.
The digital memorial has a capacity to hold a database of more than 6,600 U.S. soldiers who died in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A digital system has been developed to accept families' submissions for the kiosk, Sommer said.
The cemetery also is working with Gold Star family and mothers groups -- who lost relatives to war -- to let families nationwide know that they can submit images and information for the digital monument.
The monument is situated near the Afghanistan flag memorial and on the same spot where the cemetery retired and buried -- on Dec. 4, 2010 -- 4,427 American flags honoring the memories of soldiers who died in Iraq.
The monument's screen was donated by Livewire Digital of West Manchester Township. The company also developed and donated the software, programming, user interface and database services needed for the kiosk.
Gamlet Inc. of Manchester Township donated the hardware, metal fixtures and the expertise needed for the project.
To add U.S. soldiers' names, information and photographs to the cemetery's new digital Fallen Heroes Memorial kiosk, email the cemetery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information, call 843-8006.
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at email@example.com.
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