Calendar - Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc.


Summer Clothing and Interview Clothing Drive
May 24 @ 8:00 am – Sep 22 @ 3:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is proud to be collecting summer clothing and interview clothing for the community of veterans experiencing homelessness served by Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship & Veterans Home.


Suggested clothing of interest includes pants, shorts, T-shirts, light jackets, shoes, unused socks and underclothes. Unopened toiletries will also be collected.


Collections will be accepted through the summer months, Monday – Friday 8am – 3pm Please note that masks are encouraged to be worn covering your mouth and nose while inside the building if you are vaccinated, and masks are required to be worn by those not fully vaccinated.

9/11 Dog Tag Exhibit
Sep 2 @ 10:00 am – Sep 30 @ 4:00 pm

Twenty years ago, on September 11, 2001, the United States came under attack.

In response, 181,510 Americans enlisted for active duty service, and 72,908 joined

the reserves in the year following Sept. 11.

Out of that fateful day emerged a new generation of Americans ready and prepared to

serve and defend their country and their fellow Americans, no matter the risk. Many paid

the ultimate price to help ensure such a horrific attack on the United States never

happens again.


The mission of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is to serve as a lasting tribute

to those men and women who unselfishly gave of themselves in service to their country.

This somber 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Soldiers & Sailors will

recognize those service members with an installation of 7,053  dog tags suspended

between the light posts across the walkway leading to the building for visitors to

pass under. Each dog tag represents an individual life lost in the conflicts since

September 11, 2001. Included are 300 special flag dog tags specifically representing each

individual service member from Pennsylvania.

To formally observe the solemn occasion “Taps” will be sounded at dusk on

September 11, 2021.

The building will be closed at this time.

The open-air memorial is free to visit and open 24 hours a day through September 30th.


Spotlight On: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Sep 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

September 9, 2021 7PM – Virtual Event

Join us on Facebook or YouTube

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in Arlington National Cemetery. This program will examine the origins, history and true meaning of the Tomb. Also highlighted will be the Society of the Honor Guard, a non-profit organization created by Tomb Guards, who are committed to protecting and enhancing the welfare and image of the Tomb. This month’s special guest will be retired Tomb Guard Dennis J. McMahon III, Badge #320, Frist Sergeant, US Army (Ret). Please join us as we learn about and pay tribute to one hundred years of sacrifice.




Dennis J. McMahon III

Badge #320

First Sergeant, US Army (Ret)

Dennis J. McMahon III was born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Moon TWP, PA.  He enlisted in the Army in April 1984 as an 11B, Infantryman and attended Basic and AIT at Fort Benning, Georgia.

McMahon’s first assignment was with the Old Guard, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Fort Myer, VA.  He served with the First Presidential Marching platoon performing ceremonies at the White House and throughout the Capitol region, including the 1985 Presidential Inauguration Parade.  He then volunteered and was selected to be a Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery.  Following his 18-month assignment to the Tomb, 1SG McMahon earned the Tomb Guard Identification badge (badge # 320).  This badge is the second least awarded badge in the military, following the Army Astronaut Badge.

In 1988, he reclassified as a 97B, Counterintelligence (CI) Special Agent.  His multiple worldwide assignments were from Germany, to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea and multiple state-side assignments.  Dennis retired in September 2004 as a First Sergeant.

McMahon’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Superior Award (with numeral 2), the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with star), Korean Defense Service Medal, South West Asia Service Medal (w/3 bronze stars), the Saudi Arabia/Kuwait Liberation Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.  McMahon has been awarded the following badges:  Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Identification Badge (#320), Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the German Schutzensnier (Bronze award).  He has also been inducted in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and is a recipient of the Military Intelligence Corps Knowlton Award.

He has been married to Lisa (Smith) McMahon since 1984 and they have 3 boys:  Connor (27), Austin (24) and Evan (23).

Dennis currently works for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Boyers, PA as a Senior Personnel Security Specialist and they make their home in Coraopolis, PA.


Spotlight On: Beer in the History of War
Oct 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Beer in the History of War

October 14, 2021 7PM – Virtual Event

Join us on Facebook or YouTube

The story of beer in war goes back to the Romans and the Huns, if not to the beginnings of war itself. Generals, including George Washington, planned army movements around the delivery of beer rations for the troops. Soldiers have longed for a taste of their local beer as a reminder of their home and normality. Soldiers and sailors have exercised great creativity and daring in their efforts to bring beer to their comrades in arms. Focusing on the Civil War through Afghanistan, this presentation will examine how beer has impacted war and how war has changed beer.

Joe McAllister

Joe McAllister spent much of his career developing programs and services for not-for-profit organizations. He founded and developed the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, co-founded the Advisory Board On Autism and Related Disorders (ABOARD, aka Autism Connection of PA) and developed the Department of Psychological Services for Watson Institute. McAllister retired from Watson in 2013 to work full time on the development of a national beer museum here in Pittsburgh. Similar in scale to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Brew: The Museum of Beer will be a first-day destination attraction capable of accommodating 400,000+ visitors per year within a 50,000-square-foot complex.

Paul Young

Paul Young is the brewer for BrewDog of Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2005 with a film degree. He has spent his professional career working in documentary film, owning and operating a home beer and wine making supply store and as a professional brewer. He curated the Louisville Brewseum in Louisville, Ky – a mobile exhibit covering 200 years of beer history, and has taught hundreds the joy brewing their own beer. Paul has created and overseen events teaching team building, promoting the importance of support for local business and fundraising. He enjoys traveling, hiking, good beer and food and, especially, learning the ways the lessons of our history shape the present and design the future.

The Silence of the Lambs 30th Anniversary Movie Night
Oct 29 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

In honor of the 30th anniversary of The Silence of the Lambs’ release, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is hosting a movie night on Friday, October 29th.

The film will be shown in its entirety at 7PM with doors opening at 5:30PM to allow time to visit with vendors and see a replica of The Silence of the Lambs cage in the very room the iconic escape scene was shot.

From 5:30pm to 7pm enjoy the following:

Howard Bender of Dynamic Illustrations & Caricatures will create your likeness for $10 in black and white or $20 in color.

Have your tarot cards read by Rev. Danielle Kurtz for a nominal fee.

Joe Steinmetz will be onsite to share the original cage blueprint. What’s believed to be the original cage rug from the movie will be on display courtesy of Ruth Frantz.

The owner of the recently converted property that was used as Buffalo Bill’s House in The Silence of the Lambs will be present to share information about his property and inn.

For this evening, in accordance with the CDC and Allegheny County’s recommendations regarding indoor gatherings, masks are required to be worn covering the nose and mouth at all times while inside the building. In an abundance of caution, Soldiers & Sailors has also limited the number of tickets being sold to allow for social distancing.

Friends Members receive FREE admission to this event! Learn more about membership here.

The admission fee for entry is $10. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 8th and are required to be purchased online in advance. Cash admission will not be taken at the door.

Closed captioning will be available during the film showing.

Toys for Tots Toy Drive
Nov 5 @ 8:00 am – Dec 10 @ 3:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is proud to be a drop off location for Toys for Tots this holiday season.

The drop off box will be located in the lobby of Soldiers & Sailors and will be accessible November 5th through December 10th, Monday – Saturday 8am – 3pm with the exception of November 25th and 26th. Please note that masks are encouraged to be worn covering your mouth and nose while inside the building.

Toys must be new and unwrapped. Don’t forget that Toys for Tots collects gifts for children through the age of 18. For FAQs about Toys for Tots please visit the Toys for Tots  website.

Thank you for joining with Soldiers & Sailors and Toys for Tots to give back this holiday season!

Winter Clothing Drive
Nov 5 2021 @ 8:00 am – Feb 28 2022 @ 3:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is proud to be collecting winter outerwear for veterans experiencing homelessness of Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship & Veterans Home.

Suggested winter gear donations include winter coats and scarves with a special emphasis on warm gloves and winter hats.

Collections will be accepted through the winter months, Monday – Saturday 8am – 3pm with the exception of November 25th and 26th, December 24th, 25,th 26th and 31st, January 1st, and February 21st. Please note that masks are recommended to be worn covering your mouth and nose while inside the building.

Varsity Tutors: What is a Veteran
Nov 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

“What is a Veteran”

Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor those individuals who have served in the United States military. In this live, online class, we’ll learn about the origins and history of Veterans Day, with a special focus on the different decorations for valor that are awarded to our country’s heroes. We’ll also hear stories about these individuals as we put ourselves in their place and ask, “What would I do?”


Spotlight On: Footlocker Program
Nov 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Footlocker Program

November 11, 2021 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube


This Veterans Day Tim Neff, Director of Museum & Education, will provide a virtual look at the Soldiers & Sailors’ Footlocker Program. The theme of this presentation will focus on a soldier’s life through the years. Artifacts from the museum’s collection will be examined including the uniforms and basic equipment spanning the Civil War through present day. Please join us as we compare and contrast the soldier’s experience through the years. This program is intended for all ages.


Tim Neff began working at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. in 2002 as the Director of Education. In 2017, Tim took on the role of Vice President and Director of Museum & Education at Soldiers & Sailors. He is a certified Social Studies teacher and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. During his time at Soldiers & Sailors, Tim has developed a variety of museum programs including: interactive and engaging tours and field trips, a footlocker outreach program, Boy Scout merit badge programs, teacher conferences, summer camps, community history events and much more.

Spotlight On: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs
Dec 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

December 9, 2021 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Guardian Angels began in 2009, when our Founder & Executive Director, Carol Borden was approached by Sam, a young man tragically paralyzed in a high school football accident. Sam required the constant aid of a caregiver, and had acquired a young German Shepherd named Bessie for companionship and a sense of independence, but quickly lost control of the dog. Carol, long known in Florida as an expert dog trainer, who’d been training dogs for nearly 50 years, was asked by Sam to train the dog. After what seemed like endless hours of training, there emerged this amazing service dog that was settled, obedient and able to give this man his life back. She now had the skills to pick up dropped items, open and close doors, bring him water from the refrigerator; help him move from his chair to the shower and so much more.

Watching Sam & Bessie function as a true team after the months of training brought everything into perspective for Carol, and at last she knew just what her years of dog-training and Business experience were for, and Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs was born.

Since that first successful pairing, Guardian Angels is very proud to have donated more than 300 wonderful service dogs with deserving veterans and others in need. Guardian Angels trains for a variety of conditions, from mitigation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms, to seizure or insulin alerting, to mobility issues and more.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is funded primarily by donation and private grant support. Without you, we could not continue this life-saving work, and hope that you will visit our donation page and consider joining our Paw Prints Monthly Giving Club, and make a no-hassle monthly gift.

Every dollar truly makes a difference at Guardian Angels,  and donations go directly toward feeding, housing, caring for and training of these amazing animals.

Ben Keen (and Bolt)

Ben Keen is a Veteran of the US Army who served from 1999 – 2008.  He served as a communication expert providing the critical voice and data network to the commanders on the battlefield.  Ben completed several combat deployments including being a member of the historic 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in 2003 during the initial invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Ben moved to Pittsburgh, PA at the end of 2007 and found work in the IT field.  Ben is currently employed at American Eagle Outfitters as a member of their IT department as a Senior Systems Administrator.

In 2019, Ben was paired with his medical alert service dog, Bolt.  Bolt is a blue, bi-color female German Shepard who was raised and trained by the staff of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs; a Florida-based 501c(3) who provides highly trained medical alert service dogs to disabled Veterans and First Responders.

Ben is a resident of South Park, Pa where he lives with his wife, their 9-month-old son, 3 cats and Bolt.  He serves as a member of the board of directors for two Pittsburgh-based Veteran service organizations, Operation Troop Appreciation and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Trust.  He is also an official ambassador for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.

Ben has been recognized for his dedication to Veterans and their families by been named the 2016 American Staffing Association Nation Employee of the Year for his work on helping Veterans find meaningful deployment.  He has also been featured in numerous local and national publications including and Pittsburgh-based radio and newspapers.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys taking photos as well is an avid cigar smoker.  It is his goal that by sharing his story; he can help other Veterans and their families know they are not alone through their transition from the military and beyond.