Construction of veterans memorial will begin in June Members of the Clay County Veterans Memorial Committee watched Tuesday as Clay County Commissioner Ralph Westergaard, Vermillion City Councilman Gary Wright, Sgt. Jerry Anderson of the Army National Guard and Andrew Knutson, a local Boy Scout who will help construct the new memorial as part of his Eagle Scout project, took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new memorial on the lawn of the Clay County Courthouse. by David Lias The brief ceremony Tuesday morning may have only been symbolic.
Shovels used at the groundbreaking for the new Clay County Veterans Memorial didn�t actually pierce the grassy sod of the courthouse grounds where the memorial will be constructed.
That really didn�t matter. What was most important to Mayor Bill Radigan, who serves on the Clay County Veterans Memorial Committee, is the big step that Tuesday�s ceremony represents.
�The work will begin in approximately a month,� Radigan said. �The work will be done by group of Vermillion craftsmen. They all met with us and are willing to take on the project as a group. Everything will be done by local people.�
One of those local craftsmen is Sandy Dickenson, a Vermillion architect whose design will be followed by the memorial�s builders.
The memorial will be located on the southeast corner of the courthouse. It will feature the three monuments donated to the city in 1995 by the late Kenneth Mockler, the American flag, service flags for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and the veterans monument from Prentis Park.
Benches and planters will surround the patio area which can be accessed at the corner of Main and High streets, or the north courthouse parking lot.
The city has donated the Prentis Park monument, along with Mockler�s monuments, which were originally located at his home east of Vermillion. Clay County will maintain the grounds and the city will provide electricity and maintain the lighting for the new memorial.
Radigan said the location near the courthouse will be more fitting for the Prentis Park memorial.
�That is a nice memorial in its own right, but it will be moved here,� he said, pointing to the area of the courthouse lawn where the new memorial will be constructed. �This location will be very suitable.�
The veterans memorial committee is still gathering funds for the project. Approximately $22,000 have been raised. Estimated cost of the new memorial is $40,000.
�We hope to have the dedication of the newly completed memorial on Veterans Day, 1999,� Radigan said.