HARTINGTON — The initial design of the new Hartington Veterans’ Memorial has been released.
This is a computer generated rendering that entails most of what is in the plan for the new memorial, which will be located at the southeast corner of Broadway and State streets in downtown Hartington.
The design background setting that appears on the artist rendering of the memorial shows trees and grass surrounding the memorial, which will not be included in the final memorial as the actual exterior of the memorial will be sidewalks, streets, a building to the south, the Knights of Columbus Hall on the back or east side. Because of the 10-foot slope from front to back, concrete walls will be used to level out the current sloped lot.
There will be flowers, ornamental bushes, grasses and trees not pictured that will be included just inside the perimeter of the memorial and east corners to soften the look of the concrete and granite that will largely make up the memorial area.
Plainview Monument Company assisted in developing the design and they will be supplying and installing all the granite benches and monuments.
The balance of the items making up the memorial and the construction will largely be supplied by Hartington area businesses to include the flags, entrance pillars, the archway, the landscaping, the lighting, the concrete flooring and brick pavers all of which is part of Phase Two to be completed hopefully by late 2021 in time for the memorial dedication on Veterans Day in November of 2021.
Phase One to be completed this year will include removing the current dirt and underground concrete basement floor, install footings for the wall surrounding the memorial and building the actual wall and then putting in new dirt to raise the entire memorial even with Broadway Avenue to the west where the entrance to the memorial will be located. Finally, a 42-inch high black wrought iron fencing will be placed on top of the wall around the entire perimeter of the memorial except for the entrance.
To best describe the contents of the planned memorial, there are numbers on the colored artist rendering picture next to the main components of the memorial that corresponds to the numbered descriptions found below.
NUMBER ONE – The entrance to the memorial off of Broadway Ave. will consist of two brick pillars with concrete caps. On the left pillar, there will be a vertical inset with the word HARTINGTON and on the left pillar will be NEBRASKA. The pillars will hold up a steel archway across the entrance with lighted lettering spelling VETERANS MEMORIAL. Three concrete filled pipe barriers will be mounted in front of the entrance which will be able to be taken out and put back to allow for any maintenance work and to allow the monument company to bring equipment in to add additional veteran names to the monuments as they become available.
NUMBER TWO – A donor wall/kiosk will be in place to list all the memorial donors that contribute $500.00 or more to the project to include both monetary contributions and any gift-in-kind labor and materials that is donated by individuals and businesses.
NUMBER THREE – The first lighted monument upon entering the memorial will introduce the memorial as the HARTINGTON AREA VETERANS MEMORIAL and follow with the following message: “This Memorial Is Dedicated In Memory Of All The Men And Women Who So Proudly And Courageously Served And Fought To Protect And Defend Our Country, Our Liberty And Our Cherished Freedom” A bronze bald eagle is planned to perch on top of the monument signifying the symbol of America’s strength .
NUMBER FOUR – There will be three lighted flags with an engraved verse on a monument in front of each flag. The left flag will be the Nebraska State flag, the middle and taller flag will be the American flag and the right flag will be the POW/MIA flag. Since the flags will be lighted, they will continually fly.
NUMBER FIVE – A paver brick design in the shape of a bow representing the symbol now used often by the veterans will be in place and will be the centerpiece of the memorial. On the top portion of the bow will be granite inserts with IN GOD WE TRUST.
NUMBER SIX – Around the perimeter of the memorial and inside the wall and fence there will be decorative rock, bushes, perennial flowers and ornamental grasses and eight small monuments on three sides of the memorial with memorable verses with a theme that features our veterans and our freedom and hopefully they will provoke some serious thought on the message being delivered.
NUMBER SEVEN – There will be seven granite benches placed around the memorial for seating and rest.
NUMBER EIGHT – There will be six granite monuments that will contain the engraved names in alphabetical order of veterans that are sponsored along with the branch of service they served in the military. Both sides of the memorial will include names with total spacing for up to 1,800 veterans (150 names per side). After each letter of the alphabet, there will be left 4-6 empty spaces under the last name to add veteran names that come in after the initial names have been engraved to allow for late sponsorships and for future veterans. The sixth monument will be left blank initially to allow future veterans to be added in the order they are received but not listed in alphabetical order. This will allow for up to 300 names to be added for future veterans. There will be space to add two additional monuments within the monument grouping if the need arises to add additional monuments and space to enter veteran names far into the future.
NUMBER NINE – Inside the monuments with the veteran names will be a monument inscribed with THE SOLDIERS PRAYER. A life size bronze soldier will be kneeling with his head bowed and his left hand outstretched and resting on the monument as in prayer. This will be a touching scene underscoring the thoughts of a soldier heading for battle and asking God for the courage and strength that he or she will need on the road ahead defending our country.
NUMBER TEN – Five identical monuments will be placed with each representing a branch of the service (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and the Coast Guard) complete with the branch symbol and motto/slogan. On the reverse side of each monument will be a brief history on each of the major wars that have been fought by Americans to include WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and the various Middle East/Gulf Wars. These short histories will hopefully explain why the United States enters war and what was gained or lost.
NUMBER ELEVEN – A special monument that represents the three veteran organizations in Hartington which includes the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Veterans (AmVets) to include the symbol of each and a message that identifies the three organizations as fraternal organizations promoting the continuation of service to our country and a way for veterans to stay connected. Next to the monument will be a kiosk that explains the mission of each service organization and the history of their presence in Hartington.
NUMBER TWELVE – A very special and touching monument in place representing a tribute to the Fallen Soldier killed in action. A bronze helmet, rifle and boots representing and symbolizing the fallen soldier will be in place with a life size bronze soldier kneeling and embracing a folded American Flag giving reverence to his fallen comrade. A kiosk off to the side will include a list of the casualties of each war for all countries combined, for the United States, for Nebraska and finally for Cedar County giving the reader a look at the cost of war and the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.
Hopefully the subdued lighting that is planned for the memorial will give justice to the solemn nature one would expect in a veteran’s memorial and that will allow visits to the memorial during night time hours. “ We want the Hartington Area Veterans Memorial to be a special place in our downtown and representative of the tremendous honor and respect we owe to our veterans. The success in meeting this goal will largely depend upon the generosity of individuals, families and businesses. The estimated cost of the planned veteran’s memorial is still being developed as the plan comes together and cost estimates are received for each component of the memorial. The plan is not to borrow any money to build the memorial and to be cost effective throughout the entire process without compromising the quality of the finished memorial,” says Project Manager Dan Kathol.