Third Street School Memorial Dedicated
By Beverly Keller
Local Edition Editor, The Budget Newspaper
The community gathered together on Friday night to witness the official dedication of the Third Street School Memorial, and the “glimmer of hope” The Budget columnist Les Troyer wrote that he saw in John Miller of SUPERB Industries October 4, 2000 came into full view.
Please click here to see a video of the dedication.
“And there is a glimmer of hope in John Miller, of SUPERB Industries, and his plans for a memorial park for the old school where it once stood,” Troyer wrote in his column known as “Life Lines” dated October 4, 2000. “John is a civic minded business executive and needs to be lauded for his kind offer and vision. Part of that dream is to take the stone slabs that were placed in the two entrance pillars and include them in the memorial design.
It was a dream that Miller shared with Troyer, and together the dream took shape over the past ten years and was built of mortar and brick this past spring and summer. And while Troyer once wrote, “ A giant has fallen in the land!” of the former Third Street School - one can be sure Troyer now sees that “giant” has risen and now stands tall along Third Street at the intersection of Innovation Plaza at the entrance to SUPERB Industries.
In fact, as the community gathered in great number to witness the ribbon cutting and dedication of the structure, not even a rain cloud with a steady shower could deter them from their duty - being a part of the monumental dedication that not only raised a structure but raised more than $25,000 for the Garaway Education Foundation in the process.
“It is customary on such occasions to reflect and ponder the path that brought all of us together at this juncture on the road ahead. It has been said that one can only look forward as far as one can look back,” John Miller said. “Today we stand on grounds that bring to us a rich heritage where hard work was combined with the principles of enduring education for the betterment of country and community - that in a nutshell is what brought us here today to celebrate.”
Miller noted that he wanted to highlight the era that the Third Street School represents - one that was filled with lessons many have long since forgotten. “I pondered how I might characterize this rich heritage in a concise manner-simple but profound-to serve as a guiding principle for the road ahead. I propose this: ‘It’s Not About Me.’ ‘It’s not about me’ is a counter intuitive, but liberating concept that hearkens back to a time which produced a generation characterized by Tom Brokaw as the ‘greatest generation.’ The Third Street School, established in 1911, was one among many community schools that shaped hearts and minds with what our founders considered self evident truths that enabled them to go beyond the confines of ‘me’ to embrace greater causes for the benefit of country and community. It was not about me, myself, and I; it was about the honor of going above and beyond the call of duty to make country and community a better place to be.”
He challenged those in attendance to be hopeful - to be forward thinking. “On behalf of those that have gone before and on behalf of those assembled here today I dedicate the Third Street School Memorial to the enduring value of education based on the principles of God, Country, and Individual Liberty for all,” he said. “May we never forget that it’s not just about me.”
The memorial was officially equipped with an American and Swiss Flag following Miller’s remarks by Homer Weiss Post 494 of the American Legion.
And as Les Troyer said in his September 6, 2000 column, “We all owe John Miller a debt of gratitude for his vision and respect for our local history. This exciting project can be done if all of us civic minded Garaway alumni, friends and members of this community pull together because ‘A giant has fallen in the land.”
That giant now stands tall as a reminder of the school that formed the ideals that were engrained in so many throughout the years it served as a pillar of education in the community. The giant will serve as a reminder to all that nothing is impossible