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Pylons at Virginia Tech War Memorial Chapel get a cleaning

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 30 2013 12:17:37 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2013 05:57:37 PM EDT

On the campus of Virginia Tech, there are eight pylons that sit on top of the War Memorial Chapel.
A reminder to the living about those who sacrificed defending this country. Those monuments are getting a serious "once over."

BLACKSBURG, Va. -

On the campus of Virginia Tech, there are eight pylons that sit on top of the War Memorial Chapel. They are a reminder to the living, about those who sacrificed defending this country.

Since 1960, those eight pylons have stood as a reminder for the rest of us about Virginia Tech graduates who died during military service.

The memorial, made of limestone and built to honor Americas bravest, got a serious power washing Tuesday. Virginia Tech officials say the last time this type of makeover happened was 12 years ago, only days before the attacks on 9-11.
The Commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech is Randal Fullhart, who met us in front of the War Memorial Chapel. Softspoken but direct, Fullhart said this deep cleaning says a lot about Virginia Tech.
"So what this represents,” said Fullhart “is a dedication to the university, its alumni to the truth of what these pylons mean to the university."

Talk about clean, the pylon you can't see is ''the after.'' It's nearly brilliant, not bland. The other three behind it are next in line and dull. Hovering around the structures is a crew of about 10 workers. They've assembled a web of scaffolding to clean these 30-foot tall structures. We caught supervisor Al Rose staring at the pylons, seeming to read the words etched in stone, while his crews carefully cleaned the names of dead sons and daughters.

"We knew that a lot of people are going to come by here and look at this,” Rose said. “People died for these monuments and this is just a privilege to come up and do it and do it right.”

We saw one group taking a tour of the campus. They stood across the street from the pylons, as the workers walked carefully on scaffolding that was wrapped around every monument. The guide shared a sobering and solemn fact, "We're the number one medal of honor school outside of the service academies."

The foreman on site said it was an honor to restore the pylons. He also said it's a very different kind of job for the crews to be working on. This project is scheduled to be done by early August, weather permitting.