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Peabody Centennial Memorial Celebration: Honoring a Century of Legacy and Learning

On May 30th, Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and Preservation Pittsburgh celebrated a significant milestone: the Centennial Memorial Celebration at Pittsburgh Obama Academy, formerly Peabody High School. The event honored the 100-year legacy of the school and the restoration of the Peabody Memorial to Soldiers, a landmark World War I piece.

The ceremony, held on the grounds of Pittsburgh Obama Academy, brought together alumni, current students, faculty, and local dignitaries and alumni.

The event featured the unveiling of the restored Soldiers' Memorial, a significant landmark originally designed by local sculptor Frank Vittor. The statue, which honors the 17 students who served in World War I and the 543 Peabody students who participated in the war, was revitalized thanks to the efforts of PPS and Preservation Pittsburgh. 

Board President Gene Walker and Board Member Sylvia Wilson joined elected officials and Peabody alumni to commemorate the occasion. The ceremony included the debut of Pittsburgh Obama's new alma mater and a wreath-laying by students and alumni, symbolizing the school's respect and remembrance for those who served.

In addition to honoring the past, the celebration highlighted the revitalization of an outdoor classroom space, providing a fresh, educational environment for current and future students. 

The history of the Peabody Memorial is a testament to the community's dedication and spirit. In 1920, students, alumni, and faculty raised $10,000 by selling Liberty Bonds to fund the memorial. Upon completing the campaign in 1921, the school ensured that the "valor of every Peabody Lad" was recognized by urging all students and alumni who served to contact the committee.

The Centennial Memorial Celebration was a poignant and joyous event, bringing together generations to honor the legacy of Peabody High School and the enduring spirit of education and community service at Pittsburgh Obama Academy.