Built in 1960 with alumni funds, the pylons that honor Hokies who have died in combat are being cleaned for the first time since their 2001 re-dedication ceremony.
According to Isaac Barber, the coordinator of events and operations for War Memorial Chapel, the limestone used to build the pylons had been blackened by tree sap, moss and soot from vehicles and was due for a good cleaning.
“This has been in progress for a while,” Barber said. “Finally, it’s come to fruition and we’re excited that these companies have come in and are taking great care of it.”
The companies hired to clean the pylons will also be working with university facilities to determine a more regular cleaning schedule to keep the pylons presentable, according to Barber.
“We just want to make sure that this structure, which is there to honor the people that have (made) the ultimate sacrifice for our country, stays as a monument and a testament, as an iconic structure for generations to come.”
The monument serves as a beacon of respect to those Hokies who have given their service in the military, and who may serve in the future. Collin Hayward, a recent graduate, participant in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech and International Studies major, said that he was very pleased with the pylons’ maintenance.
“As a Tech alum and serving Army officer,” Hayward said, “I think it’s fantastic that the university is beautifying our campus and honoring the sacrifices made by servicemen from VT.”
As someone who has known many people who have served in the military and is very passionate about the monument, Barber only hopes to resume regular maintenance in the future.
“We’re just happy that (this) is happening and we know that there are a ton of people that really care about this,” Barber said. “The story of the pylons is awesome, just pure ut prosim saying to us Hokies to live our lives on these precepts -- the precepts of course of our institution. We just want to make sure we take care of the visual testament and representation of those principles.”