Superstorm Sandy did more than damage private property.
It caused a much-anticipated dedication, initially planned for Veterans Day this Sunday, of the Veterans Memorial Park on Route 220 in Picture Rocks to be put on hold, at least until Memorial Day.
The storm, however, hasn't dampened the spirit of those raising money to build the monument and lay the brick pavement, nor has it caused other Veterans Day events around the region to be canceled. (See schedule below).
Kindergarten students at Lyter Elementary School paid tribute Wednesday to those in the military in preparation for Veterans Day.
"We're going to have a dedication, just not on Sunday or before the winter is over," said Eugene Otterbein Sr., a retired Air Force veteran and president of the Veterans Memorial Park of Picture Rocks Inc.
Asked what caused the postponement, Otterbein said it was the wind from the pre-Halloween superstorm that swept through the region Oct. 29.
"A cement slab that was going to provide the base for the monument can't be completed in time," Otterbein said.
The wind blew off the roof of an equipment shed owned by Jim Wolyniec Jr., the stone mason working on the project, Otterbein said.
"Everything is predicated on the completion of the memorial centerpiece," he said.
It's not the first time Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on the property.
Last September, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee caused Muncy Creek to overflow its banks, the water and rain heavily damaged the brick pavement and landscaping of the park.
Otterbein and the board of directors said they were grateful when students from the Pennsylvania College of Technology's landscaping class offered to reposition bricks and replant rose bushes and shrubbery.
When visiting, one can see 275 engraved memorial bricks in the walkways. The walkway design resembles the spokes of a wheel. One 70-foot-long walkway brings in visitors to the park from the highway.
There are five walkways around the base on the monument, one for each branch of the military service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Other students contributed, too. Students at Hughesville High School and the Lycoming Career and Technology Center art and drafting classes designed the monument with a waterfall style feature and a class studying metallurgy at Central Columbia High School melted and molded aluminum military insignia in the design, Otterbein said.
The community has invested its money in the project.
More than $36,000 has been raised for the 8-ton solid granite tribute to veterans, some by selling bricks on which veterans' names may be inscribed as a lasting tribute.
"It's a great way to honor a loved one, whether he or she is a father, mother, brother, sister or uncle," Otterbein said.
While the Picture Rocks event was postponed, plenty of other events will mark Veterans Day, including:
George W. Heiges Jr., executive director of the Lycoming County Department of Veterans Affairs, speaking 7 p.m. at the West End Christian Community Center, 901 Diamond St., sponsored by the Hearing Loss Association of Lycoming County.
A flag-folding ceremony 11 a.m. at Hillside Assistant Living Center, 2725 Four Mile Drive.
Breakfast at Broad Acres Nursing Home, Wellsboro, 8 a.m., with speaker Chuck Dillon, an aide to state Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati III, R-Brockway.
Tenth annual Veterans Day Prayer for America service 7 p.m., Jersey Shore Presbyterian Church, 235 S. Main St., Jersey Shore. The Fair Play Brass plays patriotic songs beginning at 6:30 p.m. Army Sgt. 1st Class Glen Lehman, speaker. Jersey Shore Historical Society members are planning to attend.
Service at 11 a.m. Stuart Davis Memorial Park pavilion, Westfield. Mayor Dick Vargeson speaker.
Free dinner for veterans 2 to 4 p.m. at Blossburg Methodist Church.
Service 2 to 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, Mansfield.
The third annual Veterans Day service is at Montoursville Cemetery, 11 a.m., 1401 Broad St. The event is at the veterans memorial at the southwest corner of the cemetery. Donald King, secretary of the cemetery board of directors, plans to introduce Pastor Ken Weiss of the First Church of Christ, Williamsport, and Mayor John Dorin, as speakers. Among the scheduled guests are members of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division where bugler William Peck and John MacMillan will perform on the bagpipes.
Service on the Green 11 a.m., Wellsboro.
Service 2 p.m., Veterans Memorial Park, Mansfield, with speaker Bruce Dart, vice commander of American Legion.
Flag folding by county Department of Veterans Affairs 2 p.m. at Williamsport Home, 1900 Ravine Road.
Flag folding by county Department of Veterans Affairs 2 p.m. at Elmcroft Assisted Care Center, 2985 Four Mile Drive.
Veterans are given special discounts and deals at restaurants in the region Monday, including at Applebee's, Denny's, Olive Garden and stores such as Lowes.