The Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township

To Honor Our Veterans

In May of 2016, local business people, civic leaders, and military Veterans formed a Michigan non-profit corporation – The Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township (VTOT) – to erect a tribute to military Veterans in the Township. Timothy Reese, retired Army Colonel, businessperson, and Township resident, leads a group of four VTOT Directors.

In September of 2016, the Moceri Companies donated a five-acre parcel of land to the Township on the west side of Adams Road, just south of the intersection with Silver Bell Road on which to construct the Tribute. They also donated seed money to get the project started. Thus, the Tribute will be located in the “Billion Dollar Mile” area of our Township. The Oakland Township Board of Supervisors approved the VTOT project in June 2016, and approved the design of the Tribute in September.

The goal of the VTOT is to honor the patriotism and valor of military veterans, past, present, and future. The VTOT also wants to provide a space for local civic, educational, religious, and related groups to hold appropriate ceremonies throughout the year. As such, the VTOT chose to design and build a tribute in lieu of a memorial. A local architect, landscape designer, and engineering firm came together and designed a unique, inspirational, open and airy concept.

Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township

Veterans Tribute of Oakland Township

Building a Tribute for those Who Served

The Tribute’s focal point will be six massive glass panels, 14-feet tall and 4-feet wide, one for each of the Military Services – Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and Air Force in ascending order of their dates of commission. Each glass panel will be laser inscribed with the Service crest, the date the Service was established and the Service’s motto. These glass panels will be lit with internal LEDs so each will glow with the etchings highlighted.

The glass panels will rise from a semicircular granite base on which the words, “UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES” will be inscribed in large letters. At the center of the radius will be a large American flag in a granite base with the words “FOR GOD and COUNTRY” as well as an inscription to honor Disabled Veterans. Walkways and the Tribute grounds will be paved with bricks, which can be purchased and laser-engraved for individual recognition.

With the design and engineering work completed, the VTOT is now in the midst of its fundraising campaign. The total cost of the project is $2.3 Million – including the cost of donated land. The VTOT is also creating an endowment fund for perpetual maintenance and upkeep. The Foundation has held several major fundraising events in fall 2016 and spring 2017, and to date the VTOT has raised almost $2M towards their goal.

The residents of Oakland Township and Oakland County have been extremely generous. Local and regional businesses have been equally generous – having contributed material, services and pledges to construct significant portions of the Tribute. In September of 2017, the VTOT will begin horizontal construction on the Tribute site – access road, site grading, electrical service, foundations and site layout.

Artist Rendition of the Tribute

Artist Rendition of the Tribute

Call to Action is NOW

The VTOT is now in the “Finish the Race” stage of their fundraising campaign, seeking to raise the remaining $300,000 needed to complete the project. Timing for construction of the vertical elements of the Tribute is dependent on fundraising. With success this summer, the Tribute could be dedicated as soon as Veterans Day in November. Alternately, vertical construction and dedication will take place in late spring / early summer 2018.

All funds for the project are being managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester (CFGR), which supports many local and regional groups. The CFGR is a 501(c)3 organization, so donations may be tax deductible in accordance with Federal and Michigan law.

There are three ways to support this wonderful project – major sponsorship options, general donations, and purchase of inscribed brick pavers. All are available at the Veterans Tribute website – You can also visit their website to leave a message or question and one of the VTOT Directors will contact you.

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