News & Reporter
In March of this year, Joseph Kovas, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 66 of Chester, showed his long-term passion for scouting and veterans. At that time, he announced plans to refurbish a rusted flag pole and erect a veteran’s memorial at the Evergreen Cemetery as part of his Eagle Scout project. Kovas, an 11th grade student at Chester High School, has since placed the stone monument at the 8 x 20 space dedicated to veterans of all branches of the United States military who have given service to the nation.
“Scouting is a passion I’ve enjoyed since I was eight-years-old,” Kovas said explaining one reason why he chose the project. Another factor that prompted him to erect this monument was his late grandfather, Amos Gantt, a veteran of World War II and great supporter of scouting, he said. Kovas said this project was a way for him to honor his grandfather’s memory. When he initially began the project, Kovas, distributed fliers soliciting donations from the public. Soon, $3,200 of the $6,300 he needed to purchase the marker from Gaulden’s Monument Co. had been donated. In June, Kovas proudly announced his progress.
“It’s halfway there!” he said. “The flag pole has been refurbished and I have a mock-up of the monument.” Two months later, in mid-August, Kovas watched proudly as workers installed the magnificent 5-foot-2-inch polished black marble stone marker with its free-standing stainless steel Palmetto tree created by Lancaster artist Bob Doster. The scout stood in awe, nearly speechless, when asked how he felt seeing the culmination of his project.
“I’m so excited!” he said. The monument includes the insignia of the five branches of the U.S. military across the top and sides. On the left is a free-standing piece of the monument that reads, “Land of the Free” on the right, a similar piece reads, “Because of the Brave.” At the bottom are words that tell why Kovas initiated and completed this project in the first place. The marker reads, “Dedicated to the Men and Women Who Served Their Country With Honor.” The official dedication of this veteran’s memorial monument is scheduled to take place on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2012.
Joseph Kovas stands proudly in front of the veterans memorial at Evergreen Cemetery. This monument was erected as part of Kovas’ Eagle Scout project.