by Jaime Gerard
Tallmadge -- Cemetery ceremonies, both public and private, will now be conducted in a beautiful gazebo, courtesy of Carmen Construction.
The 24-foot by 24-foot hexagonal structure located on the circular drive will be dedicated at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Tallmadge Cemetery May 28.
The parade will leave from the Our Lady of Victory Church parking lot at 10 a.m. and wind its way around the Circle to the Tallmadge Cemetery.
The project officially began when the family of Carmen Construction patriarch Carmen Scaccio, who died in July of 2006, asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Carmen's name for improvements to the cemetery.
"Carmen's son Joe wanted to give something of substance to the community to honor his father," said Mayor Christopher Grimm, who told Joe Scaccio the cemetery didn't have, but could really use a commitment center.
And so the idea of a gazebo was born.
Grimm said the Scaccio family used the memorial donations toward buying the gazebo, paying the balance as a gift to the city.
The wooden structure features a tiered roof with brown asphalt dimensional shingles. The flooring is concrete and a concrete entry platform was created for casket placement during commitment ceremonies.
City Service Director David Kline said the structure is wired for sound and light.
Grimm indicated it would be nicer and safer to have families gather in the gazebo for funerary services rather than under a tent standing on uneven ground.
A memorial flagpole formerly in the place of the gazebo, has been relocated to a more prominent location in front of the gazebo, slightly to its right.
"I think it will be a nice place for people to sit and reflect, a place they can go for shelter from the rain or sun," said Scaccio.
"Dad loved Tallmadge, and we [his family] wanted to do something to honor him and give something to the community at the same time," Scaccio said. "I think he'd approve."
"It's also a nice addition to our annual Memorial Day Parade and service," said Kline.
Grimm said a a stone monument with bronze facing, to be placed adjacent to the gazebo in Carmen's memory is planned for the future.
Editor's note: Reporter Ashley Heeney contributed to this story.