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|Carol VanWinkle||November 29th 2016|
Peoria County has two War Memorials: a Soldiers and Sailors monument, commemorating the Civil War, and a War Memorial dedicated to World Wars I & II (with approximately 1,000 engraved granite brick pavers surrounding it). We are in the process of building our third War Memorial (named our Final Salute) dedicated to all conflicts involving the U.S. Military after World War II. We have raised the money and 'broke ground' on the monument, itself. We are still raising money to pay for the statues, the concept of which is a soldier evocative of each era (Korea, Vietnam, and the War on Terror) will be in the center of the greenery at the courthouse, returning to their bunker...appropriate called "Soldiers on Patrol". There is some question as to how, or even if, we can put a sandbag wall at the back of the memorial - we would like to, but concrete is too susceptible to decay - and we want this monument to last. We have the funds raised for two of the statues, still raising capital for the third.
We are selling engraved granite bricks to help with raising the money. Any dollars left over after the monument is completed will go into a special, dedicated fund for the maintenance of the monument. Those making a donation (not buying a brick) will be listed on a plaque at the site of the monument (turned so it does not take away from the engraved names of those who died in service on the walls of the monument. Different amounts apply, the minimum is $1,000. The area available is much less than the WWI&II monument; therefore the number of pavers is considerably reduced. Cost for a paver is $150 for a 4x8" (3 lines, 21 characters/spaces per line) and $500 for a 12x12" (9 lines, 21 characters/spaces per line). All engravings must be appropriate - no advertisements. Many who do not have anyone particular they wish to honor have specified something such as "Honor and Gratitude" and their name.
A certificate, suitable for framing, will be created immediately and sent to the purchaser for review and authorization. The certificate will have a light background of the planned memorial with, on the left, the exact phrasing for the brick as specified. On the right the names of the contributor/s. We have found families like to send a certificate, (brick purchased amongst family members with all names listed [up to nine]) and send the certificate to a Veteran (perhaps in a nursing home in Florida). The Veteran receives the gift, can hang on a wall. Upon the finalization of the brick, a postcard is sent to the buyer (1) with a photo of the memorial on the back of the card, with an 'x' marking the approximate location of the engraved brick.
This has been a labor of love for our large committee. Our hope is the memorial will be completed in 2017.